Hello and welcome!
I probably overuse that on this site, but I genuinely mean it! I’ll be using the blog space for history of the Sanatorium articles I’ve transcribed, for current projects or events that are happening that need more space than a social media post, and possibly some other categories in the future like how-to guides and such!
It has been too cold to do much outside work recently, so this far we have finished the electrical in the commercial building. The commercial building was built by Lee Alan Bryant as an office building and called the “Hamilton Center”. Here in Illinois, that type of pole barn metal commercial building is called a “Morton” building.
When the site was vacant, it had a serious issue with vandals and trespassers. In addition to trespassing and squatting, they also destroyed property and stole from the site. One of the things stolen from almost every building was anything copper… like the wiring. The commercial building had it’s heating and air conditioning system stolen and a portion of the electrical wiring stolen or damaged from removing the other pieces.
We’ve done our own electrical before and since it was mostly inside, with the help of our trusty Mr Heater propane heat we got to work in February! Tracing back the electrical lines and putting in the new circuits and conduit was good fun – while we never knew when a live wire would spring out of the fluffy insulation, we also made fast progress (much faster than starting a wiring project from scratch!!). By the end of the month, we were done! All 85 electrical outlets work and all of the lights and outside lights work (or at least had power, some need new ballasts or bulbs).
Now we’ve moved onto the catastrophic structural issues with the Administration building. It is the oldest building on the site and has suffered greatly over time due to neglect and water damage. She’s a thing of beauty and we plan to give her our best shot at a new life!
The Administration building had it’s cornerstone laid in 1909 as the Indiana Tuberculosis Hospital and was used as the doctors offices and hospital on the first floor, and the superintendent and doctors residence on the 2nd floor. The third floor was considered an attic. However, the hospital quickly expanded it’s use of the building, new doctors houses built, and a huge superintendent’s residence constructed.