Irish Hills Towers dismantling project begins
On Monday, July 1, demolition crews circled the Irish Hills Towers to tear apart the observation areas. The hope held by the Irish Hills Historical Society to lift the tower tops and make repairs on the ground was not a possibility, according to North American Dismantling, the company hired for demolition.
“At this point, this is a $20,000 project for dismantling,” said President of the Irish Hills Historical Society, Donna Boglarsky.
Boglarsky personally loaned the society the $20,000 necessary to demolish the unsafe tops of the building. Repayment will happen when the society gets the funds. Although hoping for more time, the historical society had no choice but to move forward quickly with Cambridge Township’s requirement that a renovation project be in place for the towers by August 1.
“Getting our deadline extended is the goal,” Boglarsky said. “We plan to put some temporary roofs up there.”
Piece by piece, the observation areas are coming down. In addition to siding removal, the decks and railings will be taken down.
“They estimate that it might take three days,” said Boglarsky.
Once the tops are down, a temporary roof will be put on each tower to protect them from rain. To fulfill township requirements, repairs also need to be done to each base to eliminate water from coming into the buildings.
Boglarsky spoke with the building inspector to see how formal the process will be to get a deadline extension based on the work completed this week. She was told the Irish Hills Historical Society would have to present to the whole board by August 1.
“He obviously wasn’t making any commitments,” Boglarsky said, but added that she believes the building inspector wants to see the Irish Hills Towers remain standing.
Once the repairs have stabilized the towers, the society’s focus will turn to continued fundraising for the rest of the renovation and the addition of a historical museum.
One board member is looking into using people on probation in need of community service hours to help clean up the miniature golf course surrounding the towers. The free labor would make it possible to get the golf course up and running.
Boglarsky believes the greens just need to be cleaned up and the landscaping refreshed. Hoping to open later this summer, all the proceeds from the course will go directly toward tower renovation.
“We may not have it in full force with the water running,” said Boglarsky.
Donations to save the towers continue to come in on the group’s website and through the mail. Boglarsky is happy to see people encouraging donations for the restoration on the Irish Hills Historical Society Facebook page.
“Please keep helping us,” Boglarsky said, noting that even small donations of one dollar or five dollars can make a difference.