The building in the background below has an interesting history, most of which I do not know. It was originally, I believe, built as a gas station. Have you ever noticed that there were almost no gas stations on SR 114? This one and the building that now houses Rick's Pizza seemed to have been the only ones. On the other hand, there are about a dozen former gas stations that line US 231. More recently, the building was a laundry, and most recently a residence.
A final step was to twist the pole around to make sure it was firmly on the bottom. The plan was to fill the culvert in which it is standing with crushed stone. Another observer could not quite believe that the stone would hold it, but he many not have noticed just how deeply set the pole is.
Updated: I posted too early. When I went back at 2:00 to see if they had finished, the pole was back up out of the hole and resting on the ground, with the crane keeping it upright. I asked what had happened and was told that mud had accumulated in the hole since it was drilled, and they had not been able to get it deep enough. the top of the fin has to be at ground level or below, and you can see in the above picture that it was not. They had had the city sucker truck come and remove the mud, and the hole was now back to 17 feet deep.
This project is just like my home projects--nothing ever goes right the first time.
Update 2: A bit before 4:00 I checked again and the pole had been set back in the hole and workers were dumping gravel around it. The dump truck on the other side of the pole and the loader on this side both were carrying gravel from the pile in the lot that the project has used for storage on the corner of Vine and Cullen. The workers had a vibrator to compact the gravel and seemed to be having some kind of problem. The sun was getting very low and there was still a lot of space to fill.
Its next stage of use was as a restaurant, but this was a very short use. Then it became the home of the Rensselaer Bottling Company, which was originally behind the Horton Building (now The Spaw). You can see from the foundation that is still there that it was a very small building. After the Bottling Company closed, it was empty for a few years and then was purchased by the Tonners and became Superior Cleaners. When the Tonners moved in, the place was full of broken bottles and bottles in cases. They hired a man to take the bottles to the Rensselaer dump (which now lies below Bicenntennial Park.) The man took three truckloads of bottles and dumped them. So if you have ever wondered what happened to all the bottles of the Rensselaer Bottling Company and why they are so rare, they lie buried and probably smashed somewhere under Bicentennial Park.
The gas station that is now Rick's Pizza was originally a Sinclair station owned by a man named Bunker Hill who lived in the house behind the station. Between its life as a gas station and as a pizza parlor, it was a restaurant for a while.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a history of all the buildings in Rensselaer?