Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alster Tower - Not founded upon a rock

Alster Tower (of Boldt Castle, on the edge of Heart Island, Alexandria Bay) has been experiencing roof and wall leaks for almost 100 years due to not having a proper foundation of bedrock.

The Watertown Daily Times on 4/20/09 reported the following:

"The [Thousand Islands] bridge authority spent about $155,000 to hire Robert Silman Associates, New York City, to conduct a comprehensive investigation last year. The study revealed that the tower was not built on an appropriately secure foundation. 'Part of the problem is that the stone structure was built on rubble instead of bedrock,' said Stephen C. Goodrich, Boldt Castle foreman for contracted projects. 'We're not concerned that the tower will fall. However, we would like to have it standing for another hundred, two hundred years.' "
A reconstruction project will begin about mid-May to shore up its foundation. "Shane K. Sanford, Boldt Castle operations manager, said the tower will remain open to visitors while the workers improve its foundation."

Built during the 1890s, Alster Tower (known as the "children's playhouse") is interesting because the Boldts actually occupied it before the main castle was built. The main castle was never occupied, as it was never finished. We are happy this part of history will be preserved with an improved foundation.