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Green Street building gets column replacements, time capsule placed in one of columns
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Shane Keller, left, and Luke Bolton, right, watch construction at Collision Specialists Inc. on Friday, May 4, 2018. CSI recently replaced all six columns on the building. - photo by Layne Saliba

It may be 100 years or more before someone finds what’s hidden at Collision Specialists Inc. on Green Street.

After replacing the six columns of the historic home at 625 Green St. NW became necessary, Shane Keller, senior accident reconstructionist with the company, decided to get the staff together to create a time capsule to place inside one of the columns.

He said it will be filled with business cards, the authorization papers to do the work they received from the Hall County Historical Society and even a staff photo.

“It just came to me really,” Keller said. “It’s just a bit of history that we could put there that when the columns have to come down again... somebody may look in there and say ‘Hey, these were the people that were here before and this was how it was done.’”

The company conducts investigations to reconstruct accidents for its clients.

Keller said he had never done a time capsule but was on Facebook and saw a similar idea that gave him the inspiration. As soon as he mentioned the idea, everyone jumped on board.

But before the time capsule could ever be put in place, the columns had to be replaced, which wasn’t an easy process. Jeff Kidd, president of Collision Specialists and owner of the building, had to submit sketches of what would be done to the building to the Historical Society before he could get the permit to do the work.

“We just noticed after some inspections that the existing columns were in poor condition,” Kidd said. “And I’m trying to just revitalize the building, and it seemed like now was the best time to do it.”

It was important to keep the look of the columns as close to original as he could, and with the help of Carroll Daniel Construction, he was able to do that.

The original columns were wood, but the replacements are fiberglass, which should help them last a little longer. The decorative caps at the top of each column were originally made from plaster and clay. Keller said after they were removed, they found horse hair and burlap inside the caps, which he assumed was to make them stronger.

“You never know what you’re getting into depending on the era that it was originally constructed,” said Luke Bolton, contractor for Carroll Daniel.

He said if those columns had failed, though, Collision Specialists would have lost the whole front of the building. That’s why the $100,000 repair was necessary. Doing the full repair and not being concerned about having to save any of the original pieces made the work a little easier, too.

But not everything was thrown out. Kidd said they kept two of the original caps and have some pretty special plans for them.

“We gather here every day for lunch at the office,” Kidd said. “We all eat together family-style, so we would like to incorporate one of those caps to make a large table.”

And that’s the sort of thing they hope to show through the time capsule. Kidd wants people in the future to see the kind of company that was there and how beautiful the building had remained from its original look over the years. He said he didn’t want to change a thing about it and hopes no one ever does.

“I’m very fond of this building and so are our clients,” Kidd said. “We always get lots of compliments on it, and I think it’s kind of an eyepiece on Green Street.”

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