Repair work starts on Bent’s building in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Contractors arrived in Medina this morning to begin the task of replacing rotted structural support beams on the Bent’s Opera House.

The 150-year-old timbers will be removed and replaced with 7-foot-long steel beams in the next two to three weeks if the project goes to plan, contractors said this morning.

Matthews House Movers in Rochester has been hired to replace the beams. Matthews workers were rigging or installing “cribbing” that will serve as a temporary support so the rotted beams can be removed and the new supports installed.

The Orleans Renaissance Group, owner of the Bent’s Opera House, secured a $100,000 emergency loan from the Preservation League of New York State. The funds will be used immediately to address the main structural support timber on the building’s southeast corner.

The removal of the faux stone and facia last year revealed a critical concern: the condition of the main support timber on what was the former Armstrong’s Drug Store has rotted to the point where the structural integrity of the building could be compromised, said Chris Busch, ORG vice chairman.

The rotted timbers caused “dramatic settling” in the corner of the building with some cracks visible in the wall.

“It’s a miracle the masonry wall on that corner had not suffered a much greater and more calamitous compromise,” Busch said.

The horizontal wooden beams in the lower corner of the Bent’s building will be removed and replaced with steel supports.