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West Hartford Skyline Changes with Removal of ASD Cupola

A crane removed the cupola from atop Gallaudet Hall at ASD on Friday. Photo credit: Rennie Polk

The cupola atop the American School for the Deaf’s Gallaudet Hall was removed by a large hydraulic crane on Friday afternoon, and will eventually be placed in a permanent location on the campus.

The cupola has been removed from the top of Gallaudet Hall on the ASD campus in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The cupola has been removed from the top of Gallaudet Hall on the ASD campus in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The American School for the Deaf’s new Galllaudet-Clerc Education Center has obscured the view of the iconic cupola on the historic Gallaudet Building for several years, and that view was permanently altered again Friday by the removal of the architectural element.

A giant all-terrain mobile hydrolic crane, capable of lifting 230 tons, plucked the cupola from the top of Gallaudet Hall shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, and lowered it carefully to a flatbed truck. The entire process took about 5 minutes.

The preparation for the cupola’s removal took much longer, as contractors separated it from the building and attached rigging. The removal was originally planned for 11 a.m. Friday, but it was the high winds, rather than the single digit temperatures, that delayed the process for several hours.

The cupola will temporarily be stored in a fenced-in location next to the Executive Director’s house. Director of Institutional Advancement Marilyn Rettig said that the cupola will eventually become a permanent part of the campus quad once all of the construction work is complete.

Demolition of Gallaudet Hall is underway, with an excavator that was used in the clean-up of the World Trade Center area following 9-11 being used for some of the initial work. Consigli Construction Project Manager Aaron Krueger said that other aspects of the demolition will have to be done more systematically since the building is in close proximity to other structures. The demolition should be complete by mid-April, he said.

The cupola is still visible behind the new Gallaudet-Cleric Education Center on the ASD campus, shortly before it is removed by a crane. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The cupola is still visible behind the new Gallaudet-Cleric Education Center on the ASD campus, shortly before it is removed by a crane. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Final view of the cupola atop ASD's Gallaudet Hall. The building will soon be completely demolished. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Final view of the cupola atop ASD’s Gallaudet Hall. The building will soon be completely demolished. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Rigging was attached to the cupola prior to the move. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Rigging was attached to the cupola prior to the move. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A crane removed the cupola from atop Gallaudet Hall at ASD on Friday. Photo credit: Rennie Polk

A crane removed the cupola from atop Gallaudet Hall at ASD on Friday. Photo credit: Rennie Polk

The cupola is removed by a crane from atop Gallaudet Hall at ASD on Friday and minutes later will be lowered onto a flatbed truck. Photo credit: Rennie Polk

The cupols is removed by a crane from atop Gallaudet Hall at ASD on Friday and minutes later will be lowered onto a flatbed truck. Photo credit: Rennie Polk

The crane lowers the cupola onto a flatbed truck. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crane lowers the cupola onto a flatbed truck. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crane lowered the cupola onto a flatbed truck, and it will be transported across the parking lot to the Executive Director's house where it will be temmporarily stored. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crane lowered the cupola onto a flatbed truck, and it will be transported across the parking lot to the Executive Director’s house where it will be temmporarily stored. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford skyline is altered by the absence of the cupola on the ASD campus. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford skyline is altered by the absence of the cupola on the ASD campus. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The cupola has been removed from the top of Gallaudet Hall on the ASD campus in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The cupola has been removed from the top of Gallaudet Hall on the ASD campus in West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The excavator being used in demolition work on Gallaudet Hall was also used to clean up the debris from the World Trade Center following 9-11. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The excavator being used in demolition work on Gallaudet Hall was also used to clean up the debris from the World Trade Center following 9-11. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crane used to remove the cupola is capable of lifting 230 tons. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crane used to remove the cupola is capable of lifting 230 tons. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Portions of Gallaudet Hall have already been demolished. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Portions of Gallaudet Hall have already been demolished. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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