Laity Lodge was swarming with activity this morning. Painters, landscapers, carpenters, drywall hangers, tile and door installers, electricians, irrigators, masons, plumbers, ac/heating rough-in crew, concrete polishers, and a foundation crew were all busy both with their tasks and with keeping out of each other’s way. But with clear skies and 70 degrees in early February, nobody was complaining.
Last week, only hours before we published the summer retreat schedule, our on-site construction manager let us know that it was suddenly doubtful the work would be finished by June. After a week of further review and consultation, we’ve made the painful decision to cancel our summer retreats and push the Laity Lodge reopening to September 2017.
Mid December, 2016. We arrived late evening as the crews were departing. Explored the progress inside the Lodge rooms and breezeways.
A quintessential autumn day in the Texas Hill Country. Sixty-four degrees and clear upon arrival. We immediately encounter stockpiles of massive cut rock ready for the landscape.
Recent stonework really has the new building looking like the Lodge again. These walls are located on the ends of the building (as before) and inside the breezeways. Many of the rocks were salvaged from the original structure, and it’s good to see them stacked back in the organic pattern that has come to be a defining feature of the place.
The constant clatter of construction has turned Laity Lodge into one of the noisiest spots in the Frio River Canyon. Early morning (before the crews arrive) is one of the few times to find the place still and quiet. We took advantage of just such an occasion last week for a meandering and thoroughgoing walkthrough.
Our early morning Lodge walkabout continues in black and white.
Readily apparent on this early morning visit: the first bit of exterior stonework (reusing some stone salvaged from the original Lodge); steel beams for the catwalks accessing upstairs rooms; and the expansive breezeway ceilings, especially at the Waterfall patio.