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Anchor The Radio Central Facade Project Update

 Radio Central Continues To Expose History  
New Pictures Below 
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A Dream Comes True…
It Only Took A Decade And A Day!
CHRS Radio Central
Returns To Its 1900 Facade 

On April 23, 2014, CHRS closed escrow on the purchase of 2152 Central Avenue in Alameda. We were extatic about finding our forever home. We knew that under the 1950s flat and cinder block, ‘modern’ facade, exists a gem of a building. It was built in 1900 as the first telephone exchange in Alameda. The original architectural style was California Mission Revival. We thought it would be so cool to restore our building back to its original style. What a dream!…
Now, one decade and one day later, on April 24th, 2024 CHRS was approved, for the building permit from the City of Alameda to demolish the 1950s false front, built by the owners at that time, the Church of the Nazarene, and restore our Mission Revival style building to its original glory.


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This is our last large project at Radio Central. It’s taken us 10 years to plan, raise financing and execute this dream. It took about a year to create the set of plans and drawings we needed. They were created by our own Resident Engineer John Stuart and our Structural Engineer Vincent Wu. With approval of architect Mark Hulbert. We have had some major donations for this project. Most recently we received a $30,000 facade grant from the City of Alameda through their Facade Improvement Grant Program. Thank you to Alameda and to our E.D. Rachel Lee who applied for the grant. Alameda has proved again that this is a great location for our permanent home.


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2152 Central Avenue, April 24, 2024

 Progress Since Last Week 

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Check This Out!
The Reliefs And Trims Are Ready To Adorn The Building Again.
Missing For 70 Years… They Have Been Recreated
From High Density Foam Covered With Stucco.
These Should Last About 100 Years!

Dentils & Arches Have Standard Stucco Finiish.
The Korbels Are Made To Look Like 124
Year Old Wooden Beams… And They Do!

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Yuri Frames In Opening For New Window

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The Steel For Our ADA Entrance Door Ready To Be Installed

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Steel Craftsmen From Bob’s Iron Erect The Frame

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Support Frame In Place
KRE Door To Be Installed in Lower Opening
Another New Window To Be Installed In Top Opening

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June 13th 2024. Rebuilding Continues!

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Takes Our Model To The factory For Reproduction
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Working On Front Door Framing

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Looking Out Our Front Door Opening

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6″ x 8″ Door Header In Place

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Framing For New Window Begins

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The Fancy Top Portion Of Our Existing Window Removed
And Sent Out For Duplication. The New Windows Will Be Made Using Vintage “Wavy” Glass To Match The Original.
The Lower Decorative Panel Also Being Reproduced.

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June 5th 2024. 2152 Central Avenue Being Reborn.

 Progress Since Last Week In Pictures

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We Have Created A Full Scale Model Of The Details
That Were Removed About 70 Years Ago.
This Model Will Be Scanned And New Reliefs Made
From High Density Foam Covered With Stucco.

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Model Complete

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Eaves Framed. Soffits Below Eaves Now Have Beadboard.

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Soffits Being Primed

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New Old Style Eaves And Soffits
Awaiting Facia Trim And Korbels
Note Cool New Radio Day Flag & Signage

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Last Of Old Half Round Windows Removed And Replaced

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Nice View!

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Work Has Begun On New Front Entryway

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End Of The Day – May 30, 2024
Next Steps Are New Front Entry
& New ADA Side Entrance

Progress Since Last Week In Pictures

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Many Irregularities Repaired In Preparation
For Missing Details To Be Recreated And Replaced

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Just The Outline Of The Original Details Remain

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We Are Recreating A Full Scale Model Of The Details That Were Removed About 70 Years Ago.

This Model Will Be Scanned And New Reliefs Made From High Density Foam Covered With Stucco.

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The Heavy Equipment Is Here To Work The Heights

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Extensions Of The Original Roof Rafters Installed To Form The Eaves That Were Removed Many Years Ago.

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End Of The Day – May 23, 2024.
Eaves Almost Framed. Soffits Below Eaves Will Have Beadboard And New Korbels Made From An Original Building Sample.

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2152 Central Avenue, 1900… Our Soon To Be New Old Style


Progress Since Last Week In PicturesC8A235Db 3A00 7B83 37Cb Fae2814Fe5B1Yuri Watches A Pair Of Alameda Trotters
Checking Out Our Construction
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Removing More False Front Framing
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View From The RoofEeef92A6 3225 B1C9 4997 A49779C46Fc8
Our Towers Now Exposed – Shortened 70 Years Ago
They Will Be Rebuilt
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Window Removed To Be Duplicated3Cb007C4 Ee18 B79E 2578 Fc756Bec9Abc7465F5Fc 3B06 Bf68 8Df4 14Ff6F693460
2 Sides Of Our Fancy 124 Year Old WindowB92Ad1D8 33F8 D49B A29B 811E82Ba9991
Squaring Up Brick For Our New Steel Door Frame1Be3B584 5340 E17B 557C 425397E30Bbf
And Smoothing Out Parts Of The Belly Band
To Accept The New Stucco Coated Foam Band
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End Of The Day, May 16th, 20248Cf91801 D89C 50B1 F135 F39E0F29Df1C
2152 Central Avenue, 1900… Our Soon To Be New Old Style

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Project Manager Thinks…
Are We Sure About This?… You Bet!

 Progress Since Last Week In Pictures 

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Ancient Details Revealed

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First Light Coming Through Window In About 90 Years!

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Central Avenue From Inside Radio Central.
Also First Time Seen In About 90 Years!

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Covered For Rain

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A Large Animal Has Been Sleeping In Our Back Yard

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Say Good Bye To 1950s Modernization!

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OOPs… It’s Too Late Now!

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Aaaah…Today – May 9th, 2024… The Past Is Returning

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Radio Central Facade Restoration Update 

 Exploration Complete 

 NEW  – The Alameda Building inspector checked out our openings in the facade and concluded that the 1900 portion of the building is in very good condition… being 124 years old! He finalized our Exploration Permit so we hope to submit our complete set of drawings and plans to the City for review next week.

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We Are On Our Way Back To 1900!9887B563 C107 B393 481E 17F6B6349Fb1
Construction Manager Tidys Up After Cutting In 2nd Opening705Fb1Cd 8A1F F9E8 1464 19936D34631E

Front Stairs Were Connected Here & A Peek Inside The Building. 

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Close Up Of The Opening – Looking Inside In The Photo Above You Can See The Nicely Preserved Original 124 Year Old Wood Detail,(below). The Yellowish Area Below Is The Original Window Into The Great Room, Painted Years Ago
Exploration Begins! 
 Seth Arp & your editor cut the first of 2 exploration holes into the false facade of CHRS Radio Central. We were pleased with the condition of the original 1900 structure and details that we discovered behind the false front, which was added in the 1950s. From the original photos of the 1900 building, we surmised that the decorative angled panels under the main windows were stucco. This would have been difficult to duplicate, as we have one panel missing. Well, upon inspection, we found the remaining panel is wooden, in place for 124 years, in very good condition and easy to duplicate! We were able to verify John Stuart’s measurements and they were very close to his measurements through the closed wall. We will enlarge this opening and add another in the middle so we can see how the new old central stairway will be attached.
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Seth Arp Removes Stucco & False Facade
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Close Up Of The Opening – See The Thickness Of The False Facade. Looking Inside The Dark Area In The Photo Above You Can See The Nicely Preserved Original 124 Year Old Wood Detail,(below). The Yellowish Area Below Is The Original Window Into The Great Room, Painted Years Ago.1D481E5F 1A4B D384 820D 04E9E6E45B06

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Exploration Begins! 

CHRS & Radio Central has received our Exploration Permit from the City of Alameda. This permit enables us to cut 2, 3 foot by 3 foot holes into the false front to verify measurements, attachments and existing stucco trim underneath. If we find no surprises… we are only days away from filing for the complete job permit. This is very exciting. Exploratory surgery scheduled for Saturday. See our last report:
Well… Nothing is easy… especially if one wants to accomplish a task in the best and most aaapopriate fashion. We learn that there is much more involved with this project than the interior Great Room project. We are very close to submitting our plans to the Alameda Building Department to obtain our building permit. We have a terrific team involved. Pictured below are:
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E.D. Rachel Lee, Dylan & Mike Morrison – contractors, John Stuart – draftsman, Mark Hulbert – architect, Vincent Wu – structural engineer… And Zoey 🙂
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Mark Checks Out Inspection Opening In The False Front Wall.
Below are 5 of the 16  pages of plans and drawings prepared by John Stuart with imput from Vincent and Mark. Hopefully by Radio Day we will have our new facade complete. And you can help.
For our main donation page and select Facade Restoration Fund.
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