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Bradley Building sees end of first phase of renovations

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TRUSS: Dave Vandermark (left) and Tyler Hayslett (right) work to secure a truss before it can be installed in the Bradley Building.
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INSTALL: Mike Vandermark waits as one of 34 trusses is lifted for installation.

by ANDREW CHRISTMAN - achristman@wabashplaindealer.com

With the setting of 34 trusses Thursday morning, work on the first phase of the Bradley Building in downtown Wabash is coming to a close.

Dave Vandermark and Kathleen Duffey-Alspaugh, co-owners and developers of the project, say the replacement of the nearly 120-year-old original trusses is both important for the building and a great conclusion to the first phase. The trusses will allow for a full roof replacement, which will begin the second phase of restoration to make the building watertight.

“Once we shut down the water, we shut down all of its problems,” Vandermark said. “This new roof will be a big plus to it (the building), watertight once again for the first time in a long time.”

The first phase of construction on the building included taking out old windows, masonry work and replacing the roof. Once the roof is finished, the windows will be replaced before interior work begins. Vandermark anticipates the second phase to be completed by the end of the year, though noted if the weather is uncooperative it could delay the completion until early 2019.

The new windows will be three-pane glass, and the interior will receive all new insulation to make it easy to heat and cool throughout the year.

The scope of renovating the building is to add commercial and living space, with three condos planned for the upper two floors and shops for the lower levels. Vandermark said there has already been interest in one condo and one retailer to purchase space upon completion, though noted he plans to be particular about who is in the building.

“We want this building to be in this shape 100 years from now and not in the shape it was when we got it,” he said.

Along with replacements and renovations, Duffey-Alspaugh said plans call to replace the original signage on the building, which was uncovered while the brickwork and exterior was being cleaned by power washing and using eco-friendly acid cleaner.

“It took a lot of washings to clean this,” Duffey-Alspaugh said, indicating the signage on the eastern side of the building. “It’s been rebordered and there’s been some brick replacement.”

Since taking over the building in October 2017, Duffey-Alspaugh said she has come down practically every day to see the work being done on the building. Now with the first phase completing, she said she is excited for the project to continue.

“It feels like it’s been a long time coming,” she said.