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.
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.