Women’s Center Needs Cleanup Crew

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center (DAWC), 1021 State Street, sustained damage in a recent storm including the collapse of its brick chimney. They could use some help picking up the pieces out of the garden and would be grateful for a repair estimate. If you can help, the number is (815) 758-1351 or you can stop by and chat with Director Anna Marie Coveny during DAWC’s summer art show open times of 7-9 p.m. Fridays.

As of this writing I have not yet contacted 3rd Ward Alderman Victor Wogen nor the Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) group about their plans, but will pass on news from them if a coordinated effort proves to be in the works. Late last fall, Ald. Wogen was able to obtain use of a lift truck, which enabled NHN to replace some siding and do some painting high up just before winter struck.

20 thoughts on “Women’s Center Needs Cleanup Crew”

  1. Jack, we just as of yesterday received a plea to help out… give us some time to formulate a plan…Sheesh…lol….

    We did fairly good work there the last time, ad I am sure if we can get our ducks in a row, we can get things done this time. So far there is Yinn, Myself, My Wife Christine, Sarah, and her Husband Pat, and Kay…

    We could use alittle more help, and anyone you know willing to grab a shovel, and their pair of hands, may be enlited to help out.

    That being stated, fixing a chiminey is very specific work, and unless the claytile in the chiminey is in tact, this should be left for a professional to repair.

    As far as cleaning the grounds of brick, I am sure that won’t take long. However as of just recently my wife and I have had a new baby girl, so its taking a bit of air out of our sails so to speak, and we have been quite tired…
    But if we can get enough hands there, I am sure we could try and get out there this weekend sometime, but no promises as I have to talk to others, to make sure they have some time…

    Contact me at my email addy


  2. Yes, you did do really good work. And this time around, I will really be able to help as my shoulder is almost good as new [knocks on wood].

    And–can’t wait to see that baby girl!!!

  3. I just stopped by the DAWC and this is a major project. Easy cleaning up the grounds but there is still debris on the roof and the entire chimney looks unstable. Agree a professional appraisal is in order and maybe even a claim to the DAWC property insurance carrier. Tryng to line up a lift truck to get the debris off the roof and prevent further damage.


  4. Not much of a mason but the insurance company sounds like a real good first stop. Don’t want to do too much until the insurance company looks at it. A chimney should be done by a professional mason and it all depends on what the chimney is still being used for. It may be used for the furnace, the water heater or an older fireplace. If the home has a new fireplace and hopefully high efficient (can use PVC piping for flue) maybe its just the water heater using this chase. If nothing is using the chase then I suggest to take it down and abandon.

    I do have a telehandler (forklift that extends outwards) with a man basket. I would be glad to lend and operate if it can work for this situation. Accessibility is important for this piece of equipment. It will reach upwards 41′ and out 30′.

    It’s there if the group needs it.

  5. Yes Jack, I will back Mark up on them helping the DAWC in the fall. Irving Construction provided equipment with a lift basket (telehandler?). The kids even helped rake the leaves. :-)

    I will show the DAWC the comments here so far. Thanks to those of you who went over there to take a look. All I can say is at least the wind blew the ‘right’ direction and the bricks went on the ground and not through the roof.

  6. Ed, exactly how bad was the damage, if your saying most fell on te roof, we are definitely going to need a lift that can get us up 30 feet or higher, So Ivan, that lift may just do the trick. If I can recall, the roof pitch is a bit steep in places, and when fixing the siding, we actually stayed in the basket and maneuvered the lift into position so we did not have to put ourselves into a position of falling.

    I assume this was the chiminey on the west side towards the middle back of the building?

    If they are not using it I suggest removing it as well, however if they are or were using it (assuming not since this was the chiminey that I believe needed repair last year) but if they are using it, or want to use it, and they plan on using it for a wood burning fireplace, then yes it should be repaired professionally, as it takes alot of skill to do mason work for firplaces (standard mason work, I can do), but fireplace chiminey’s as well as one that extends as high as that one did above the roof line, takes ALOT of skill.

    Also I agree nothing should be touched until the insurance company takes a look at it, I just hope the deductible was or is low enough to make sense if repair or removal is to be done.

    Once the Ins company looks at it, please let me know, and I will see what I can do.

    I may stop by tommorrow morning or early afternoon, to get a look at the damage, and see what all needs to be done, then reassess what and how many people will be needed.

    My assumption is a few people on te ground stacking bricks, and two in a lift can get the job done, but if we are going to be there for the chiminey, we should plan on getting whatever other small projects we can accomplish done as well, make a weekend of it..

    So that if we happen to attract more people, we can in turn put those people on a project as well.

    Just my two cents, please someone get back to me with any info as to if an insurance company will be looking at it, or what direction the DAWC plans on taking.

  7. Kay telehandler is very similar to the machine we used in the fall if I my memory serves me well, its more or less a forklift, with a basket arm on it, one person drives the device, while the second or third is in the basket above.

    I kinda of equate it to a very small comcast truck…lol… but if I can recall, alot of different attachments can be added to it, not just the basket… I believe even a loader bucket can be added instead as well as a forklift attachment..

    below is a link I found with a few pitcures, I believe this is what Ivan is talking about


  8. My only question is does this telehandler pin on an axis… I don’t believe they do, so we will have to position it in the back of the building and have one person on one of the sides of the basket do all the grabbing of the bricks off the roof, and the second stack them in the basket..then bring them down load by load, I can also assume if they did fairly decent mason work, that the bricks won’t be in singles, they will more than likely be in larger chunks, which means some weight..

  9. Mark

    It appears it “broke” at about roof level. Unknown how high it needs to extend beyond the roof peak when repairs are completd because I am sure the fule source has changed since construction of the building . It appears the entire chimney may be unstable and take allot of repairs or as Ivcan points out even upgraded replacement. It is being used as the chimney for the 3 existing heating units in the building.

    Also unitl the stability of the remaning structure can be determned the area needs to be roped off and protected from other falling debris


  10. I will stop out later this Thursday afternoon and see what I can see. I’ll also check out if I can get to the spot that I would need to set up. We’ll see what is needed. It may be that the only way up is to set masons scaffold and redo the chimney at the same time. I’ll get back with what I find out.

  11. I stopped by. Not sure what the original height was but it looks like the chimney could be rebuilt right from the roof line. The old one will need to be taken down. I can get to the chimney from the alley and the man basket opens up at the ends for access to the roof/chimney. I’m actually wondering if this chimney was hit by lightning but looking at the pitch of the roof it had to have been a tall chase. It does look like someone had wrapped a wire support around it at one time to keep it from falling as it is still laying on the roof.

    If this chase is rebuilt, I’m sure the mason is going to want to set up some scaffold to do this. It would be really nice if the furnaces inside were high efficient then you could repipe those flues and just close up the roof opening. More information will be needed however.

  12. I went by DAWC today, too, and second the idea of roping/taping off the area for safety.

    Had to look up this usage of “chase” so will share it:

    2. Building Trades. a space or groove in a masonry wall or through a floor for pipes or ducts.

    My “something new” learned today!

  13. I believe if I can recall from last year the chiminey extended past the roof line by approx. 6 – 9 feet. If they are HE furnaces, you could just as easily take down the chiminey and then run the vent lines up through the roof line, by simply going thru a stud cavity or even making a vent chase from the furnace upward, and simply framing it in… you would not need much space, and you could easily make it pleasing to the eye from the inside, after its drywalled, or possibly even using a wood treatment to give it more eye appeal. (this allows less masonary work, and more carpentry work, and would ultimately be cheaper, and more effective as it would put the vents from the furnace above the freeze line on over the roof soffit. (ice and water damage lessened)

    There are asphalt shingles on the roof, or are they cedar shake?…or another substrate? if its asphalt shingles, its pretty easy to put in a roof vent , with either a lead boot over PVC, or have a rubber boot installed over PVC.

    Alot of options, depending on the true use of the old chiminey…

    It seems there is alot to be decided before things move in the right direction….

    please keep me informed as to what direction the DAWC is going to go, and what all they need.

  14. Mark. The heating units are not high energy efficient. One main forced air unit in the basement and 2 hanging units on the main flooor all vent to this chimney.

    The damaged chimney extended beyond the peak of the rooof which is quite a height above the damaged line. Before the storm it was “tied down” by a stabalization guide wire system also attached to the roof. ( This remains on the roof)

    The DAWC has photos of the chimney before the damage, availabe for anyone to look at.

    I left my name and phone with the DAWC volunteering to assist with the clean up but I think they are still in the decision mode on whether to file an insurance claim, obtain their own estimate or other options I may not be aware of.

    Will continue to monitor this site to see if help is needed but IMO it will become more of a fundraising event to cover major repairs rather than just bodies to assist with clean up


  15. What with all the attention, now may be a good time to mention that the chimney is not the only part of that building that needs major help. As I understand it, DAWC is in a pickle in that they are eligible for some funds that cannot be released until they are up to code. The painting is just a part of it. There are iirc some plumbing issues and electrical issues and flooding issues. So agree once again with Pevo: fundraising is needed as well as volunteers to restore this historic building.

  16. Well Yinn, if you are able to put together a group who would put together a fund raiser for an upcoming week, I will donate my services as Disc Jockey for the event and co-host with an organizing member.

    Maybe the park district could donate the use of a facility whether at Hopkin Park or River Heights, maybe even the shelter house at Hopkins. I’m sure many of the good businesses in this community would step up. Also the list of problems needs to be brought forward so a group of volunteers can figure out how to go about getting this work done.

    It just sounds like this is something that needs to get done and soon.

  17. Ivan, talk about an offer that cannot be refused!

    Perhaps this can be done under the auspices of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors group. DAWC is open this evening, 7 I think, so maybe a couple of us could meet over there and talk to Anna Marie about the idea. I’m up for that.

  18. Yinn, you’ll have to get back to me via email on what happens if you meet. I have to ready myself for the first part of a 2 evening class reunion weekend. DeKalb High School graduating class of 1978 meets this evening at Fatty’s to start the weekend. Where as 30 years gone, wow!

    We can organize a great fundraiser for this group. Monies can be raised and locals will get volunteers together to do the work needed. Maybe the city has some rehab monies available for this work. Sue Guio might be able to help or at least direct us.

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