Saturday, 18 December 2010

Postcards: The Stone Jug

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building)In 1859 a fire destroyed most of Carbonear and some of the buildings were rebuilt using stone. One such building was the Stone Jug on Water Street, built by John Rorke. It is one of the few stone buildings still standing in Newfoundland and is a Registered Heritage Structure. I remember going into the store when I was in high school and it was still run by the Rorke family. It has changed hands a few times since then and has fallen on hard times. The current owner is in the process of fixing it up and my folks are helping oversee the restoration. I was able to get inside to record the early stages of its renewal.

The craftsmen are painstakingly restoring the building to its original form. This means a lot of "old fashioned" wood work, such as this wooden support on the ground floor.

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 9

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 8


The main floor is off of Water Street and looks across the street at the Rorke Stores, which is also a Registered Heritage Structure. I used the window light from the main window as a soft backlight for this portrait of my folks.

20101217_0042_2Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 7


EDIT: I had another shot of the folks by the window and while I prefer the one above for a portrait shot, the one below is a much better editorial shot, as it is exposed to include the outide, giving a view to the referenced "Rorke Stores".

Stone Jug - 9


Up in the attic you can see the trade off that has to be made between "keeping the old" with "keeping the building safe". The old roof supports are augmented with a new all-timber support structure. In this shot you can see the new timber (lighter colour) and the old timber on top of it (darker colour).

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 4


In this shot you can see how the new stucture provides a web of support for the roof. My folks stepped in to the photo so you can get an idea of the scale of the structure.

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 3


Here is a shot of the roof structure looking down the building. I think the idea is to leave these newer timbers exposed, which will give the attic floor a very warm abiance. Ron's red ball cap looks oddly cool in this shot, plus it will give you some guidance on how long the building is.

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 2


If you go back to the close-up of the support beam above, you will see a tally mark etched into the older beam. These marks were used by the original craftsmen to figure out which timbers went where when they were putting up the roof. You can see them better in these close ups.

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 6

Stone Jug (Old Rorke Building) - 5


I hope to document more of the work as it progresses.

EDIT: I have just published two folios of photographs of Newfoundland. Go here to buy a unique gift for someone special (or buy one for yourself!).

1 comment:

joy said...

its so wonderful to see the work being done ...please keep us updated...such an important part of carbonear history