Scaffolding a burned out mansion. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and scaffold.

The famous “Bloomfield” mansion was almost “Gone with Wind” like Tara, or Xanadu in “Citizen Cane”.  But firefighters were able to coral the blaze and keep the structure so it could be brought back to life like Lazarus.

Video from ABC local:

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And that’s where Pinnacle Scaffold comes in to save the day.  Pinnacle has a reputation for extraordinary work on historic properties and this was no exception.

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Scaffolding around a burned out shell of a house is no easy feat but our experts handled it with great skill – giving crews the necessary access and room to do their work.

This Gilded Age Main Line mansion, known as “Bloomfield” was built in 1885 and later redesigned by architect Horace Trumbauer.  It boasts a grand ballroom, 14 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and three power rooms.  It has 24.000 square feet and sits on a 7 acre estate.  Check out the slideshow of the BEFORE pics.  It was movie set spectacular.  In fact, it’s been in several movies over it’s lifetime.

The home is part of what once was the George H. McFadden estate, which used to encompass most of the block.  And it sits just down the road from the Villanova campus.

200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova  200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova

The blaze, with apparently started on the third floor quickly spread and caused significant damage to the entire building.

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Current owners, Dean Topolinski and Julie Charbonneau plan to restore the home after the fast moving fire ripped through the structure April 4, 2012.

200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova  200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova

Restoring it to its former glory won’t be easy and is sure to cost millions of dollars.  Just look at the interior before the fire.

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The house has been somewhat of a firestarter (had to say it) for gossip around the area.  Accusations of arson and greed have been thrown around by both the past owner and the new buyers.  I’ll leave that to you readers to decide.  Either way, this is the second time on a year that Pinnacle Scaffold has been onsite scaffolding the old girl.

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As you can see from the photos, the real challenge was engineering a safe way to span the gaps and elevations all around this house.  A big shout out to Alternate Design Solutions for working with us to come up with certified drawings for solving that problem.

200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova  200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova

You can also see in the photos that here are numerous verticals and horizontals throughout.  That is because the entire structure is going to be tented with debris netting.  These extra supports are needed to keep it strong enough to withstand the elements.  Crews plan to work straight through the winter on this project and it’s a wonderful way to keep the heat in and elements out when working in nasty conditions.

200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova 200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova 200 South Ithan Avenue in Villanova

So, with the utmost care Pinnacle Scaffold came in and scaffolded the entire mansion giving crews access to both the front and back sides.

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We will update this when we have photos of the tented house.

For any historic restoration or delicate work don’t hesitate to call the non union scaffold leader – Pinnacle Scaffold today.  (302) 766-5322 or visit http://www.pinnaclescaffold.com.

A bit more history on the mansion. (with plenty of links following)

Trumbauer, a famous Philadelphia architect, designed an expansion and renovation to Bloomfield at the behest of George H. McFadden Jr., a cotton-magnate who bought the estate in 1911. The first home there had been built by naturalist A. E. Gallatin in 1883, according to “American Splendor: The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer” by Michael Kathrens.

Trumbauer had transformed the original building, creating an entry hall lined with caen-stone, a creamy, yellow limestone from France, marble floors and a grand staircase with wrought-iron railings in the style of Versailles. Outside, the Olmsted Brothers designed parks and formal gardens to frame the gracious chateau.

Although McFadden died in 1931 from an accidental electrocution from a steam cabinet in one of the home’s bathrooms, his family continued to own the manse until 1984, when the land was subdivided.

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2013/08/02/main_line_suburban_life/news/doc51fbd640b9710120401352.txt

http://articles.philly.com/2013-07-15/news/40571560_1_dean-topolinski-insurance-money-arson

http://radnor.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/mansion-was-couples-dream-come-true

www.pinnaclescaffold.com

http://www.philly.com/philly/gallery/20130714_Couple_starting_over_with_grand_plans_for_Main_Line_manse.html?viewGallery=y

http://radnor.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/breaking-news-spoke-pours-from-ithan-ave-home

http://www.brynmawrfirecompany.org/apps/public/news/newsView.cfm?News_ID=22

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8608239

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Another great use for System Scaffold

Bob Burnquist, Pinnacle Scaffold, non union, open shop scaffolding, rental

In honor of the X Games and Bob Burnquist’s unfortunate faceplant in Big Air – Pinnacle Scaffold gives you another great use for system scaffold.  See if you can spot it.
(Hint:  Check the :42 second mark)

This video is pretty darn amazing. See if you can spot the scaffolding and then catch the last couple of tricks involving the helicopter.

Patterson Park Apartments, Baltimore, MD Update – Scaffolding entire building

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We are updating our past blog on the Patterson Park Highlandtown redevelopment.  These are the latest shots at the $30 Million project to renovate the Hampstead Hill school building into rental apartments, retail space and underground parking.

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Pinnacle Scaffold now has equipment around the entire building.pinnacle scaffold, non union scaffold, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, DE, MD, PA, NJ, FL, D.C.,  pinnacle scaffold, non union scaffold, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, DE, MD, PA, NJ, FL, D.C.,
The six-story, 258,000-square-foot building occupies a full city block on the east side of Baltimore’s Historic Patterson Park and is just minutes away from the famous Johns Hopkins hospital.

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Patterson Park is one of Baltimore’s greatest treasures. There are so many activities to do and groups that call the park home.

Pinnacle scaffold is the non union scaffold and shoring leader.  (302) 766-5322.

Mt. Vernon Mill renovation, Baltimore, MD – scaffolding update

pinnacle scaffold, non union scaffold, non union scaffolding, rental, sales, service, DE, MD, PA, NJ, DCThis is by far the biggest scaffold job Pinnacle Scaffold has done.  As part of phase 2 we now have scaffolding on EVERY building in the Mt. Vernon Mill river valley basin.   It’s a pretty impressive site to see Baltimore’s historic river basin decked out in Pinnacle Scaffold.

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As you recall, this entire complex is being converted into a mixed use combination of office, retail. apartments, restaurants and shops.  Not only did this scaffolding have to hold up to the rigorous weather changes commonly associated with this area of MD but it had to survive the wind, weather and water of hurricane Sandy…   Because we build for the worst conditions imaginable our scaffolding came through the storm with flying colors.

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There are some very cool areas we had to address with this latest round of scaffolding.   The first are the giant trusses that we had to incorporate to the scaffolding beneath the 100 yard walkway in between the two massive structures.  You can see how crews had to get beneath, above, and on the sides of the walkway for renovations.

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The next big challenge was the stream itself.  Many areas had to avoid dipping into the water completely and had to be held by specially manufactured supports that attached to the buildings themselves.

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The front side after the scaffold came down.

This entire job is a testament to Anthony Pini and his crew for thinking outside of the box and constantly overcoming obstacles that were thrown in their path.

Enjoy the photos.

Contact Pinnacle Scaffold at (302) 766-5322 for all of your scaffolding needs.

Cool Scaffolding project – Smokestack demolition in Milford, Delaware.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday – scaffolding for an 80′ tall smokestack demolition in Milford, DE.

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I just love the pics of this job.  Normally, demo companies just tip these over or implode them but that was obviously not possible here because the stack is attached to the building beneath.  This particular smokestack belongs to the world-wide dental company called Dentsply.
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Pinnacle Scaffold was brought in because of their experience with historic buildings and their ability to build around odd shaped structures.  Thanks to Clean Venture for the referral.
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The challenge here was to have the correct architectural drawings designed and implemented on-site as the scaffold went up.  Anchor points were critical since the bulk of the structure was coming down.  It was designed so that demolition crews could begin dismantling at the top and work their way down.
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PSC has an on-site team, working in tandem with the demo crew, dismantling portions of the scaffolding as the crew moves down towards the ground.
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My question was, “what happens to the bricks and mortar when the crews demo the chimney?”  Well, they toss it into the stack and clean it out when they reach the bottom.  PSC also provided crews with several trash chutes for debris.  (those came after these pics were taken).
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It’s not everyday you see scaffolding around a smokestack that is coming down one brick at a time.

Call Pinnacle Scaffold today at (302) 766-5322.

Here’s some information about the client Dentsply (from their web site)

DENTSPLY International has been committed to providing the global dental community with innovative, high quality, cost effective dental products. From our humble beginnings in 1899, the Company has grown to become one of the largest professional dental products company in the world. With operations in 40 countries, the Company distributes its dental products in over 120 countries under some of the most well established brand names in the dental industry. Worldwide, dental professionals now depend upon DENTSPLY for innovative, new solutions that advance the practice of dentistry and improve oral health for patients throughout the world.

Pinnacle Scaffold’s client appreciation water fun day

In a move sure to go down in history as one of the finest moments on water, Pinnacle Scaffold took out one of its clients (Alternate Design Solutions) for client appreciation day.

The plan was simple.  Entertain some great clients.  Zip around on some cool toys.  Drink some frosty beverages.  And even have a fishing contest.Alternate Design Solutions, non union, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, DE, PA, NJ, Philadelphia

But things didn’t quite go as planned.  Sure, the first toy up was the brand new Jetovator. (Akin to taming a full blast fire hose) and that was a burner.  But little did anyone know just how much energy it took to ride this contraption.
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Working harder than coal miners to tame this wile water beast, the guys got mighty tired and hungry.  Ah, the fatal flaw was found in otherwise perfect plan.  Pini forgot the food.  Now most times Pini and Pinnacle prepare for everything, except for on this fine occasion, where he only brought 3 Snickers and small bag of Doritos.  He remembered the beverages but didn’t count on these manly men to get so hungry so fast.
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So what started off as an exceptional day on the Delaware river soon became mayhem when the starving crew ravaged the boat for anything to eat.  Consuming the candy bars in exactly thirty seconds and then finding no more human food, Matt busted out the live fishing bait, consisting of worms, grubs, maggots, shrimp and minnows and began feeding it to everyone.  He failed to read the fine print (imported from China in 2009).  No one cared.  It was food and they were starving.

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They consumed almost all of the outdated bait that was stored in the galley.  This seemed to calm everyone’s hunger pangs.  There was a collective sigh of relief.  After about five minutes everything settled down.  The colors seemed brighter, their moods got lighter and their senses seemed to be more acute.  So after chugging a few adult beverages to wash the rotting fish taste, the day could continue.

Pini captained the boat to a remote section of river where fishing rods were taken out and the very last of the bait was put to good use.

Let the contest begin.  And there could only be one winner.

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Pauly D defeated all anglers with his pull of a giant Tigerfish!  Goliath Tigerfish in Delaware you say?  Incredible indeed.  Thank goodness no one was injured bringing in this bad boy. No net needed.  Pauly D just shoved his fist down the monster’s gullet (as if he was hillbilly hand fishing) and hoisted him on board.  They would ride him later.

Leave it to Pinnacle to find the most isolated spot on the river to catch fish, when low-and-behold, from out of nowhere, sped the one and only Australian Super Model, Elle Macpherson on water skis!
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With much grace, skill, and dynamite looks, she blasted past the boat leaving the men wet, awestruck and dumbfounded in her wake.

Not to be outdone Matt said, “Pini, throw me that water ski and hit the gas!”
Into the brine he went, carving like the super slalom champ he’d always wanted to be…
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But she was too fast and it was too late.  Like some apparition, Super Model Elle Macpherson was gone.  For a 47 year-old gal, she not only looked good, but could really put the pedal to the metal.  Where did she go?  Where did she come from?  As the men stood contemplating the mystery before them – another skiing beauty sped by in her wake.

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2 supermodels, on water skis in one day?  In Delaware?  This WAS the place to be.  Or had the rotten fish heads made them see things?   Pinnacle is in the erection business (just see their T-Shirts) and let’s just say things were getting “up air”.
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“Into the bat boat boys,” shouted Jimmy.  “We’ll catch them.  I’ve got a secret weapon,” he said, as he took the wheel of Pinnacle’s new toy – the Amphibi-car.  “It might not look fast but it’s got 450 horses under the hood.  Sea horses, that is.   “Yah” he screamed and cracked the whip, with Paul in tow behind the speedy car boat.
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Unfortunately, after a few minutes it became apparent that no one had fed the sea horses (and they had eaten all of the fishing bait) and they just petered out leaving the guys to swim back to the boat.

In a last-ditch effort to appease the client and find these two water skiing beauties, Pini decided to bust out the big guns.  Top Gun, literally.  “If we can’t find them in this – we must surely be hallucinating,” he screamed, as he rolled forward the throttle and gave new meaning to the word Jet Skiing.
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Unfortunately, that was the last time anyone saw the boys from Alternate Design Solutions.  We can only assume that they found Elle Macpherson and her friend and are living it up on some tropical island somewhere.  We hope.  We wish.

Like this post for a chance to win your very own Client appreciation day with Pinnacle.  If you dare!  One winner will be drawn at random to have fun with the Pinnacle crew.

Call Pinnacle Scaffold today at (302) 766-5322.

Attitude is everything

This was on the back of one of my customer’s business cards.
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This really hit home on many levels.  For those who can’t see the text, it says:

Attitude
Attitude is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstance, than failure, than success, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a business…a home…a friendship…an organization.  The remarkable thing is, you have a choice every day of what your attitude will be.  We cannot change our past… We cannot change the action of others… We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can change is our attitude.  Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how you react to it.

I highlighted the part that really made sense for me.  Each day I wake up and chose to make it a great day no matter what is happening in my life.  I wish this for everyone – Choose to make it a great day everyday.  You do have a choice.

Your friends at Pinnacle Scaffold.
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Pinnacle Scaffold and Robert Kennedy’s famous quote

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
Robert Kennedy
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A philosophy I try to live by everyday. When we had to design special trusses that would support the scaffold over water… I thought, why not? And look what we came up with at
the Mt. Vernon Mill project in Baltimore, MD.