Piece by Piece, the Fence Gets Rebuilt
This summer and fall will see the installation of six more mini-sections of the 10th Street fence. A mini-section is comprised of five balusters, two half-rails placed between two medium posts and two caps, bolted on the original foundation. Volunteers lift the concrete, 200-pound half rails into place directed by long-time chairman Charlie Neill, who has developed special tools and methods over the years.
It’s a project for a turtle, not a hare. The August 1988 edition of the Woodruff Place Post reported the frustration of neighbors watching the “crumbling relic” deteriorate and whole sections disappear. That year, property owners voted to proceed with a plan to have molds constructed so fence pieces could be made by volunteers in the basement of the town hall. Five years of casting would be done before the first piece is installed on 10th Street. Since then, 45 mini-sections have been built or secured and 15 large posts have been cast on-site at the original entrances on 10th St. as well as Michigan Street. Many Woodruffians have given their time and energy to this project over the years and the tradition continues. “Thanks to everyone who has helped in one way or another,” said Charlie. “We’ll just keep making progress, piece by piece.”
(For UT September 2017)