Topping Out the New Library
On October 30, there was a short ‘topping out’ ceremony at the site of the new Manchester Community Library, where the final timber frame beam of the new building was erected and nailed into place. This marked a major milestone for the construction team. Library trustee, Rabbi David Novak gave a blessing:
“We are grateful to gather at this milestone in the building of this new Manchester Community Library, to gather in celebration of its topping out This building will be a cathedral to humanity, where learning and knowledge will be available to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is already a landmark. Through the hard work of many – Chris Cole and his crew, and all the tradesmen working on the project, as well as Christine Miles, Linda McKeever, Betsy Bleakie and everyone who has touched this project – our dream of a new community library is becoming a reality. May we join together at the grand opening of the building in good health, and may the work of our hands prosper always.”
The practice of ‘topping out’ a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious practice of placing a tree on the top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their
ancestors that had been displaced. The practice migrated to England with Scandinavian invaders and took root there. Today, it announces that the construction has reached the sky without loss of life or serious injury. And it is meant to bode well for the future inhabitants of the building.
The new library is expected to be open in the fall of 2014.