Arts Block owner installs snow guards on roof
Hopes special design will stop snow, ice from falling
Workmen install snow barriers on the Arts Block building in Greenfield on Monday.
Workmen install snowbarrier on The Arts Block building in Greenfield on Monday.
GREENFIELD — The owner of the downtown building known as the Arts Block says he’s confident he won’t have to worry about snow and ice falling from the roof of the building next winter because he is installing $20,000 snow guards this week.
“They finally came in,” said Edward Wierzbowski, who renovated the entire four-story Arts Block building, which houses a couple of restaurants and a number of offices.
Twice this past winter, Wierzbowski had to close the building for several days because of snow and ice falling to the ground, threatening the safety of passing drivers and pedestrians.
During those incidents, the sidewalks in front of his building on both Main Street and Court Square had to be cordoned off by the town, the businesses in his building had to close, and at least four parking spaces were closed until the snow and ice cleared.
Wierzbowski had previously installed snow pads, which are snow blockers installed across the entire roof like floor mats, along with snow tabs, which are smaller than guards and allow some snow and ice through, but neither prevented the snow and ice from falling to Main Street.
“Now we’ll install these snow guards, which were specially designed for my mansard roof, along with the pads,” said Wierzbowski. “The tabs were just ripped off.”
He said this past winter was the third in a row that he had to contend with the problem of falling snow and ice.
“I’m just happy no one was hurt in any of these incidents,” he said.
Wierzbowski said the 1869 mansard roof and climate charge both contributed to the problem, he believes.
“The guards will keep the snow and ice up there until it melts,” he said.
The 17,000-square-foot building was built by George Arms in 1869 and was known for many years as the Arms Block until Wierzbowski renamed it. The building housed Clark’s Sports Shop for many years.
“I took an old building and tried to retrofit it and make it work in the 21st century and it didn’t work,” said Wierzbowski. “I think this will.”
He said it will take about three days of good weather to install the guards. The installation will include the use of a crane.
“We should be done by the end of the week,” he said.