If you drove down Pearl Street on February 9th, you would have seen quite a spectacle. On one side of the road, 40 people stood with glasses of sparkling cider in hand, looking toward the sky and cheering with tears in their eyes. Across the street, the final beam of the Carriage House, signed by many who were involved in getting the structure to where it is today, was being hoisted into the air by a crane. Majestically perched atop the beam were an evergreen tree and an American flag.
This exciting and emotional event is called a topping out ceremony: a long-standing tradition among commercial construction builders around the globe. The ceremony is a way to celebrate the highest beam reaching its home at the pinnacle of the building and a way to commemorate a milestone in the building’s construction. Originally started in Scandinavia, topping out began as a way to honor the wood materials that went into the project and to express gratitude for the trees that became the structure of the building.
Over the years, the topping out tradition has been expanded to serve as a ceremony to honor the workers on the project. Typically, anyone involved in the project’s planning and construction is invited to join the celebration. For our event, we were thrilled to involve the whole Wren & Willow team. And since no celebration is complete without food and drink, Taco Street joined in, too, to help commemorate the momentous occasion.
We were so honored and excited to have the News Tribune join us at the event. The TNT's Debbie Cockrell wrote a wonderful article covering both the event and Wren & Willow’s history. Check it out here or click the video below!
After years of planning, preparation, and sleepless nights, it is hard to believe we have already reached this stage in the construction of the Carriage House. Thanks to the tireless efforts of so many, it is more magnificent than we could have ever dreamed. And as we see the walls now outlining its form, it is so exciting to think about all of the happy memories we will share in this building, both with the Wren & Willow team and with all of you. To us, the Carriage House is more than just walls and wood, screws and steel; it is the culmination of many, many dreams coming true right before our very eyes.