The last 100 feet of the 225-foot power plant chimney now being demolished may be knocked down by heavy weights swung by a derrick, it was disclosed yesterday by the American Wreeking Company. Another method which the company may use to topic the pile is known as "burning under". Five wooden blocks, soaked with gasoline, are inserted in the base, the surrounding bricks being removed. Two of the blocks are then ignited, and the stack falls.
Fear of breaking pipe lines and starting the foundations of bridges located in the vicinity has deterred the wreekers from adopting quicker methods.
At present two trained workers are sending from six to ten feet of brick hurtling down the inside of the chimney each day, with only occasional larger slabs falling outside to delight the casual spectator, and provide material for Film Foundation photographers.
At its bell-like top the stack measures twenty feet in diameter. From the top is suspended on a beam a circular platform on which the two workers stand. As the chimney walls are six feet thick, the platform has been made slightly less than eight feet in diameter too narrow to permit a fatal stop on the part of the worker, but with enough room to let the loosened bricks fall through.
There is a two-Inch gap extending the entire length of the chimney wall to prevent water soaking through to the interior and causing a back draught.
The slowly falling chimneys are an outward and visible signs of the bavoc which has been wrought within the vitals of the power plant itself. The great building which for a score of years has sent steam coursing through ashestos-fitted pipes to heat water, in the lamented locker building on Soldiers Field, and to the other extremity of the University to warm the great reading room of Langdell Hall, is now in a state of devastation. Though there has been nothing to indicate the change, the University has been heated since March 3 by the Cambridge Electric Light Company's plant at the Western Avenue bridge.