Week 4, May 12-18

This week has been about leveling the floor. And plumbing. Gravel is poured on top of the existing sloped concrete floor.

After the gravel is down, string lines were stretched across the space to show where walls are going to be. The locations of some of the counters were also spraypainted on the gravel. We used two pieces of plywood as stand-ins for the wet tables to figure out where exactly to put them. The gravelled area in these photos will become the treatment room, surgery, x-ray, and doctor’s office.

Before the cement can be poured on top of the gravel, more plumbing needs to be connected. These pipes will connect to the wet tables, the lab sink, and the scrub sink. (It’s pretty dusty in there at this point, as you can see by the dust ‘circles’ floating in the photo.)

The plumbing got inspected, then was covered over with more gravel:

Next week: a level concrete floor.


Week 3, May 5-11

X marks the spot…

…where concrete will be cut out so the plumbers can find the existing drains.

Luckily, the plumbers found what they were looking for:

Then some new pipe was attached to the existing drains. This part is for the new client bathroom.

To level the sloping floor, a concrete form is built around the edges of the area to be levelled. To the left of the form will be a ramp/hallway that goes to the back of the clinic. A shallow hole where the podium was has been filled in with concrete as well.

The holes cut to get to the drains are filled with concrete too.

Next week…

… will involve gravel.


Week 2, April 28-May 4

This week: more demolition.

The pulpit area started looking different:

And then really different:

Then gone:

Standing in one of the little rooms at the back of the building, you can see all the way to the front door.

The little rooms and bathrooms in the front of the building are rooms no more.

So the demolition is done. Next week: putting stuff in instead of taking stuff out!


Week 1, April 21-27

The demolition has gotten rolling quickly. By day 2 this is the view looking inward from the front door:

The first wall we started knocking down is now…

…barely a wall.

And soon the view from the pulpit looks like this:

The front bathrooms are not working so well anymore, but now you can see the original pink plaster walls, which are pretty cool.

By the end of the first week, most of the interior walls are gone. This is the view from the pulpit…except the pulpit has been dismantled. Part of it is in this photo on the right. You’ll see the pulpit again as part of the cat clinic. The pews are going to be reused as well.


Construction begins

Months of planning, zoning, and permitting work came first, but on April 21 we got the go-ahead to start construction.

Come on in and check out our progress … but first please note the yellow building permit in the window. We worked hard for that piece of paper!

The first part of any renovation project is arguably the most fun: demolition! The first thing that got smashed was a wall in the hall.

hall wall coming down

Interior windows and doors came out.

And the place started looking a bit messy.

The cabinets and sink in the photo above are from the Borders bookstore breakroom. We bought them when the Lawrence Borders closed. Eventually they will hold cat medications in the clinic pharmacy. Thanks, Borders!


The way it was

Here you can see some photos of the interior before the renovations started. It was difficult to capture on film the size of the church sanctuary, but you can get an idea of what the church looked like, and how big a change there is going to be to turn the space into the Cat Clinic of Lawrence.

This is the view from just inside the front door, looking down the hall into the sanctuary. (There is a pile of pew cushions in the hall.)

view from the front door

When you first walk into the building, there are two small rooms with windows, one room to the right and one to the left. Here’s the room on the left.

little front room

There are three restrooms in the building. They all pretty much look like this:


Here’s the view from the pulpit looking back toward the front doors. We did pull some of the carpet up so the plumbers could look for drains.

view from the pulpit

Here’s another view of the sanctuary, showing the big windows.

Behind the pulpit there is a hall that connects to five small rooms. Here it is:

the back hall

It’s hard to believe that in a few months this is going to be a hospital for cats…


… but I have faith that it will!


From church to cat clinic

Welcome to 1701 Massachusetts Street!

For decades, the building was a church (Church of Christ, Scientist) and the Christian Science Reading Room. The church’s congregation sold the building this spring, and renovations to create a veterinary clinic just for cats began. Yes, from church to cat clinic. Feel free to insert your own joke about the transformation here — we’ve heard them all!

The renovation design and construction are the work of the talented Jesse Brubacher and Kate Frick of Brubacher Building Workshop.

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