The winter of 2008 proved quite a busy one for the Nevada Properties staff out in Gerlach, as more major improvements have been made to the Black Rock Saloon, the Friends Of Black Rock Office/Museum, Helens House, and what’s commonly referred to as the Showers Property.
Construction started at the Saloon, where the industrial kitchen received a major face-lift with the installation of new FRP wall sheeting, new interior paint, and the addition of new crown and base molding. Next it was on to the men’s and women’s bathrooms, which got new ceramic tile flooring, reconstructed ceilings, new doors and new paint job, as did also the two service pantries next to the kitchen. Electrical upgrades were also made to a good deal of the old wiring throughout the building.
And then it was on to the reconstruction to the Saloon area itself, where the bar and the back bar floor were completely removed and then rebuilt anew. Burning Man purchased the vacant lot next door to the Saloon this year, and so that area was cleaned up to provide a much-needed parking lot for our summer staff.
Another major project this past winter was the transformation of the Friends Of Black Rock Office/Museum. The old building, originally built around the 1930’s, was gutted from floor to ceiling before receiving a new roof, newly designed and constructed interior walls, a new custom tin stamp ceiling, new doors and windows, and new electrical throughout. We maintained a careful eye to the design during the remodel, and now the completely new Friends Of Black Rock Museum looks like something right out of the old west of 1890.
The property known as “Helens House” also received a new tin roof, a new exterior paint job, some ceramic tile work in the laundry area, as well as some improvements to the parking area this past winter. The old town generator shed which sits on the same property as Helens (and was once the power shed for the town of Gerlach) was cleaned out and then received a new roof. The windows and doors were all rebuilt, thus making the old storage shed more functional.
Over at the Showers Property, we powered through a complete cleanup before construction started on the new permanent 100-foot communications tower, its new adjoining office, and an enclosure fence.
Meanwhile, Out at the Ranch…
Black Rock Station (a.k.a. “the Ranch”) is Burning Man’s 200-acre storage and pre-production facility with a fully loaded carpentry shop (where The Man is constructed), a 5,000 square foot auto shop, and a fully equipped metal shop. In addition to the DPW’s pre-event construction efforts, the Ranch also services the pre-production needs of the Greeters, the Lamplighters Crew and The Box Office Crew.
This winter the caretaker’s house at Black Rock Station received a face-lift with a new exterior paint job and a much-needed new tin roof.
During the summer’s pre-event work weekends, DPW personnel used the Ranch to accomplish a variety of tasks, including building over 100 new Bike Racks, setting up a green bike workshop, constructing BRC street signs, refurbishing and constructing many new portable office buildings and on playa staff housing containers, building Black Rock City spires (from which our lamps hang), refurbishing staff travel trailers, constructing numerous new burn platforms, and performing mechanical maintenance to the DPW and Gate auto fleet which now exceeds more than 75 service and staff vehicles.
As storage space at the ranch has now exceeded maximum capacity, efforts were made over the winter and spring to remove numerous junk cars and other miscellaneous stored items so as to maintain a functional working yard. Plans for a new, expanded storage yard have been drafted and submitted, and we hope to see construction start sometime in 2009.
All in all, it was as usual a very busy year of maintenance and improvements at Black Rock Station and all the various other Nevada Properties.
BRS Ranch Manager, Nevada Properties Caretaker