by Mark L. Olson
The first anyone on Medford Street knew of the Deconstruction of the Barber Shop was on a gray Friday morning when a menacing green dumpster appeared outside the NESFA Clubhouse:
When NESFA purchased its clubhouse, one small section of it was a barber shop and the shop remained as NESFA’s tenant through a change of owners. for over twenty years. But last Spring, the barber retired and NESFA — desperate for space for its library (see the saga of George Flynn’s books for an idea of how many books have not yet been shelved) — decided to add the space to the Clubhouse as additional library space. The shop shared an interior wall (no doors) with the main room of the Clubhouse, but needed serious renovation, sharing some of the building’s amusing eccentricities (such as no right angles anywhere and no insulation).
It was ugly, too.
We hired a general contractor who would let us add sweat equity to the project (where we were able to do the work) to oversee the work and to help us select and manage the subcontractors who would do things we couldn’t. But destruction — gutting the place so we could start work — is something we could do. So we swept in and destroyed:
After five hours’ hard work, we’d cleared all of the interior partitions and stripped one wall back to studs so it could be insulated. (The rest of the walls were interior or already insulated). When done, the place looked a lot bigger and a lot cleaner!
To our sorrow and shame, however, we didn’t fill the dumpster: