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Nashua;76.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/bkn.png;2014-07-30 15:12:14
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

After much deliberation, work to preserve icon of Nashua’s manufacturing past underway

Work to shore up the Millyard’s chimney has begun.

The issue of whether to save or remove the iconic brick chimney, once part of the Nashua Manufacturing Co., has seen its share of wrangling, but aldermen eventually approved $762,000 this May to preserve and strengthen one of Nashua’s Millyard icons. ...

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Work to shore up the Millyard’s chimney has begun.

The issue of whether to save or remove the iconic brick chimney, once part of the Nashua Manufacturing Co., has seen its share of wrangling, but aldermen eventually approved $762,000 this May to preserve and strengthen one of Nashua’s Millyard icons.

The work is part of the ongoing Broad Street Parkway project. Nearby, a new bridge is being constructed across the Nashua River, near the Cotton Mill housing project off Franklin Street.

At the chimney site, a long ladder was affixed to the exterior of the chimney, while a ring of wooden scaffolding surrounded the very top – about 165 feet above the ground.

What was once the Boiler House at the base has been removed while the real work is taking place deep inside the chimney as a crew from the International Chimney Corporation in Buffalo, N.Y., works to remove the brick liner piece by piece.

Jason McGonigal and Jeremiah Berube worked inside the cramped stack Monday. The bricks tumbled out onto the ground below, forming a small mountain.

“We’ve got the inside of the chimney rigged with a Sky Climber,” said job superintendent Andy Bower.

Workers climb up the
imposing-looking ladder from the ground to the scaffolding, then get to work.

“They get inside, ride down and start piecemealing it apart,” Bower said.

John Vancor, manager of the Broad Street Parkway project, said it took a while to figure out what to do with the chimney, but now that the money has been approved, he’s been impressed with the chimney company’s work.

Once the clean-out has been completed, anchors will be installed about 2 feet apart, and wire mesh will be installed and covered in sprayed-on concrete.

Bower said it would take about a month to complete the job – barring any snags in the process.

This isn’t the first time he’s been on the chimney.

“Me and my dad, Richard, are the ones who actually tore down the top 15 feet to the ‘M.’ We poured a cap and put a quarter in the cap,” he said. McGonigal, his cousin, reported from high over the Millyard that the quarter was still solidly in place.

Don Himsel can be reached at 594-6590 or dhimsel@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Himsel on Twitter (@Telegraph_DonH).