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December 8, 2013

Chimney shortening completed

Historic 220-foot chimney in danger of collapse now stands 50-feet tall

LAWRENCE — Corey Crane Company of Lowell has finished reducing the 220-foot-high chimney in the middle of the Cardinal Shoes building to 50-feet.

The bricks of the octagon chimney had to come down after they started falling onto the roof of the 153-year-old building.

Richard Bass, president and chief executive officer of Cardinal Shoes said he decided to reduce the height of the chimney after a structural engineer he hired, city inspectors and members of the Lawrence Fire Department told him it was in danger of collapse.

In addition to worrying about the safety of the 30 shoe workers, Bass said also at risk were the 1,000 solar panels on the roof installed in 2011 which could be damaged by the falling bricks. According to the company’s website, the panels generate 273,000 kilowatt hours per year saving it thousands of dollars.

“I’m fortunate that it got done without any incidents, no one was injured and we did not lose one day of work,” Bass said.

Corey Crane Company worked from August to October removing the bricks from the chimney which was once part of a six-story building next to Cardinal Shoes. The building where the stack was located was imploded in the 1920s. To finish the job, they will place a metal coping

Cardinal Shoes was founded by Harry Bass and his brother-in-law, Alan Ornstein in the Everett Mills in 1969. They moved to its present location, the former Atlantic Enterprises building at 468 Canal St. in 1980 and continued manufacturing women’s shoes until 2000. The building was once part of the Pacific Mills.

Today, Cardinal Shoe makes top-of-the line Gaynor Minden pointe ballet shoe and dance paws for barefoot dancing.

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