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Merrimack Valley

August 16, 2013

Workers begin chimney removal at Cardinal Shoes building


“Nothing lasts forever,” Bass said. “I’m sorry we have to come to this, but we have to do it to continue our business.”

Marie Sorensen, an architect with Sorensen Partners of Lawrence, is also sorry to see the chimney reduced.

“I absolutely see it as a loss,” Sorensen said. “You can’t call it anything but that. I think it’s unfortunate. If owners maintain them in a timely matter, it would not come down to this. It’s hard to maintain a chimney because it’s a novelty, not part of the operation,” said Sorensen, a board member of DOCOMONO, a non-profit group whose goal is protect endangered sites and buildings.

She said the government can help mill owners by providing them with incentives to preserve the historic buildings, especially in Lawrence which was founded as an industrial city

“We not just have to lament what happened, but keep it from happening again,” she said.

Susan Grabski, executive director of the Lawrence History Center understands the reason why Cardinal Shoes had to alter the height of the smoke stack, but is still bothered by it.

“Of course it bothered me. This is part of our industrial history and such structures should be preserved whenever possible,” she said.

Before starting the project, workers from Corey Crane cleaned the mill’s basement which was full of soot and debris. They will throw the bricks removed from the chimney there. He set up the crane on Wednesday and began the removal of bricks yesterday. One of his seven workers went on a yellow basket hoisted over the 220-foot chimney and using an electric and air chipping gun removed the cast iron cap covering the stack. Another worker was in the basement to collect the pieces in a bobcat, which were to be taken to a recycling center.

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