Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Grand Stairway at The Arthouse

One of my volunteer jobs involves taking photos of the construction progress at Arthouse at the Jones Center in the heart of downtown Austin (7th and Congress, to be exact) and posting them in a blog.

One of the architectural features that I find to be especially impressive is the Grand Stairway which leads from the ground floor to the second. This custom-designed staircase is made out of IPE ("EEE-pay") sections. IPE is a Brazilian hardwood which wears like iron. In order to get them installed, each step section had to be hauled to the second floor by means of six strong men maneuvering it onto a specially-rigged winch. Then they were carefully raised. After all of that, each step had to be lowered into place. A tedious feat, but the end result is stunning.

Here you see a workman doing staining and finish work on the stairway.

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