Aug 06, 2014 Ashley Wolf Uncategorized
In the 1880s, when Manlius was compiled of dirt roads, a small gazebo was built at the corner of Academy Street and East Seneca Turnpike. The gazebo remained standing for more than 130 years, but eventually needed many repairs. This summer, the tattered, worn-down gazebo has been rebuilt to look similar to the old one, but stronger and more stable.
The Silverhammers, a group of retirees with construction experience, worked to build the new gazebo. The Silverhammers work for non-profit organizations on construction projects for the organizations’ clients or facilities. They also work for individuals in need of construction services. Instead of asking for a labor charge, the Silverhammers ask the organization to make a donation to one of their four charities, the Ronald McDonald House, the Samaritan Center, Vera House and In My Father’s Kitchen.
Manlius Deputy Mayor Janice Abdo-Rott, the Spade and Trowel Garden Club and the Silverhammers met in April to discuss plans of either refurbishing or rebuilding the gazebo. The three parties knew the gazebo was an important Manlius symbol and wanted to restore the old version, but realized the structure needed to be completely redone. The gazebo had been worked on many times before, but was still falling apart; the bottom had started to rot and there was fear of lead paint, Paul Mabe, Silverhammers member said.
“Everyone hated to see it go down, it’s iconic to the village,” Mabe said. “The village was literally built around it. On the Manlius website, there are photos of this gazebo surrounded by dirt roads. I knew the gazebo needed to be worked on and there was a lot of pressure to keep the old one, but it was in really bad condition.”
Although the new model looks almost exactly the same as its predecessor, the newly-built gazebo will be more reliable because it is made of Cyprus, a weather and insect resistant wood. The ceiling has also been built differently with a beam board to give the gazebo more detail and support, Mabe said.
The parts for the gazebo were built and painted at Mabe’s house, about a block away from the gazebo, on Pleasant Street. The group started to build in April once the $700 worth of materials came in and finished off the construction of each part with a layer of wood primer, then two layers of finish. To carry the parts over to the structure’s location, they used a cart to manually carry them over. The roof was carried by a village of Manlius tractor. In order for people to know who made the structure, the Silverhammers members’ names are written underneath the railings, Mabe said.
“We wanted people to know who built this gazebo,” Mabe said. “There weren’t any names on the first. It would’ve been interesting to know who built it. We thought it’d be nice to let people know it was us, like a time capsule.”
The Spade and Trowel Garden Club was worried that the building of the new gazebo would ruin the garden surrounding the flowers, but the majority of the plants were untouched. The Spade and Trowel Garden Club fundraised for years in order to contribute to the restoration of the gazebo, Stacy Merrill, president of Soda and Trowel said.
“We’re so proud of our collaboration with the village of Manlius and the beautiful craftsmanship of the Silverhammers,” Merrill said. “We hope village residents will be able to enjoy the gazebo and surrounding garden for another 100 years.”
If anyone is interested in donating money to the gazebo, make a contribution to one of the four charities with the description of “result worked on by Silverhammers” as the description of the donation.
Ashley Wolf is an intern with the Cazenovia Republican. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.