When embarking upon a large renovation project, particularly in a century old building, you must be prepared for the worst and expect the best. The day after Sontes closed its doors for the last time--hours after the ball was finished dropping--the staff and a slew of family, friends, and volunteers began stripping the space bare. They accomplished their task over the long weekend removing almost every trace of the previous restaurant to reveal a beautiful blank canvas.
At that point much of the unanswered questions were beginning to find resolution. The extent of the beautiful dentil moldings were now on display and the structure is beginning to be expressed. The next step was opening up the floor to construct the brewhouse. And here is where it gets interesting.
Like peeling an onion, layer by layer the existing construction was removed:
- The bamboo hardwood floor that was the finished floor for Sontes
- The plywood subfloor
- The composite tile that was laid over another hardwood floor
- That hardwood floor
- The original terrazzo floor from when the entire building was a bank (1")
- The supporting level substrate for that terrazzo which was concrete at depths as much as 5"
- The floor joists
- The structural steel that was likely added later to help support the sagging floor from 6" of concrete and terrazzo
It was a mess. A dusty, dirty, dingy mess. But now there is a glorious hole in the floor where the beautiful new brewhouse will emerge like a Phoenix from the ash.