Monday, May 27, 2013

The Saving Of A Gem Was Moving Experience

My Memorial Day weekend started at 6AM on Saturday, when the moon was still bright! It was headed towards the horizon as I was headed down Willow Pass Road in Concord, and it made for this pretty sight:

I knew I was right where I wanted to be when I saw the road was blocked off and a small audience (most of its members with hot coffee in hand on the chilly street) was beginning to gather.


Cameras and heads were turned toward the star of the show: The Masonic Temple, 
formerly of 1765 Galindo Street, Concord, CA. 

It sat about 200 feet away from where it stood since 1927,  just the day before, now on hydraulic trucks, and was ready on its mark to start the show.

Across Clayton Road, the supporting cast, including a new foundation and 

and reliable "Big Red" owned by Montgomery Contractors, were in their places. An organized tangle of steel cables were pulled taut and the show began with a few honks from Big Red. 

Slowly and surely, Big Red began to move the creaking 300 ton building. The stage crew fussed and hovered as they continually ran around and even UNDER the building like protective parents. They watched every move as it inched along the planned-months-in-advance path. 

Cracks formed in the plaster, hydraulics burst and a rubbernecker caused an auto accident one block west as the sun rose on the scene, but the show must go on...

Big Red had hauled the 9600 sq. foot facility to the halfway point without an intermission, and wasn't about to get blinded by the footlights now.

Leave it to the one woman on the crew to expertly direct the supporting cast as to where the temple should be placed right next to the (shameless plug!) lovely Galindo House, which is open for tours (and generous donations!) on Wednesdays from 1 - 4 PM!

Fini! A round of applause for the Concord Historical Society, Montgomery Contractors and those who voted to save the temple! It was a wonderful show! I hope one day I will be able to see the sequel, starring this gem of a building!