The Field Street Renovation Project: Phase One

This summer we’ll be renovating The House on Field Street as part of a community building project in collaboration with The Boggs Center to Nurture Leadership. Some of the work will need to be handled by a profession contractor who has already done an appraisal of the house. The real work will begin in earnest when artists and activists from New York City united with Detroiters from the east side. The group will work with an architect and other volunteers to learn valuable skills while developing a vision for the space.

I’ve put together a list of items based on a careful inspection of the house, conversations with the contractor and what we’ll be able to accomplish. Take a peek under the sinks, in your basement and in your garage. You probably have a lot of these item rusting away. Also, please consider passing this list along to friends. I’m certain through all of the various networks of folks connected to me and this project, we should be able to locate all of these items. You will probably be doing someone a favor by helping them clean out some drawer or closet space.

Please limit donated items to what appears on the list and, please be sure equipment in good working condition. It doesn’t do us any good if it falls apart the first time someone tries to use it (and that could injure someone). For things like cleaning supplies, items that would be best to purchase new, or something a persom is unlikely to have an “extra one” lying around, I’ve included the price of the item. Please consider making a donation for one of these item, not that “extra” dollars are easy to come across either.

The work plan includes:

There is no hot water heater and no gas for cooking. To help with that we are looking for the following items:

Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater ($125)
Bayou Classic High Pressure Single Propane Burner ($75)
12-quart stainless steel stockpot commercial-duty 50-ft. 3/4″
reinforced rubber hot water hose

Cleaning the space will be a priority. This will give everyone a chance to become intimate with the space, spend time together and talk about possibilities. There is a lot of wood in the building and care will be taken not to damage any of it. Specials product will be needed to address the smoke damage as well. To the best of my knowledge all of the products being used are environmentally safe.

Cleaning Products and Smoke Remediation
(These items will need to be purchased unless you have an unopened container. I’ve included the price in case you’d like to donate the cost. Thank you.)
Gamblin Refined Linseed Oil ($75/gal.)
Dr. Bronner’s All-Purpose Liquid Cleaner ($35/gal)
Hollaway House Pure Lemon Oil Wood Cleaner ($5/16 oz.)
Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel ($35/.5 gal)
Citristrip Paint Stripping Project After-Wash ($10/pint)
trisodium phosphate cleaner
denatured alcohol solvent
distilled white vinegar

Cleaning Equipment
large capacity wet/dry vacuum (must be HEPA approved – could be a loan)
mop bucket w/ side wringer
utility brooms
heavy-duty wet mop
heavy-duty dust pans
heavy-duty shovels
wooden deck brushes w/ palmyra bristles
wooden utility brushed w/palmyra bristles

Because of the risk of lead & asbestos it will be safer to leave the paint in place once any loose soot and grime has been removed. We would then apply a thin coat of joint compound effectively sealing the old paint behind a fresh layer of wall. The method described would also repair any small cracks to walls unless they are slated for demolition.

I’ve included a video demonstrating the technique that will be used to seal the walls in gypsum to remediate the smoke damaged paint and protect people from any lead or asbestos that may be in the walls:

Plaster Equipment
pre-mixed lightweight joint compound
12 3/8 x 3 in. plastic mud pan
3-inch putty knives
6-inch joint knives
10-inch taping knives
stainless steel plastering hawk
inside corner trowel
paint rollers
9 x 3 1/4 in. hand sanders
9 x 3 1/4 in. pole sanders
11-1/4×4-1/4 in. sanding sheets (course)
11-1/4×4-1/4 in. sanding sheets (fine)
steel wool

This is something we would need to purchase, rent, or borrow in Detroit. We’d need something like the unit found here. If anyone has leads to where we can get our hands on some, please let me know.

Safety Wear
respirator masks
Tyvek coveralls (XXL)
heavy-duty work gloves
heavy-duty rubber gloves (chemical resistant)
safety goggles hard hats

Finally, here are some things we’ll definately need to pay for (donations a greatly appreciated):
insurance ($800 as per quote)
gas (transportation)

Please consider donating goods, services or cash to help complete this work!