It’s a case of addition by subtraction these days at the Lanes Cove fish shack, which now has no roof, no shingles and lots of holes in the wall — all signs of progress in the rehabilitation of the historic neighborhood structure.
Work on the shack, once condemned by the city, is about 50 percent done, said project building committee spokesman Arnie Shore.
“The foundations are complete, as are the first and second floors. The roof came off this past weekend, framing is next, then onto roofing and shingling.” Shore said he expects construction to be done “before the first snowflake falls.”
Final cost is estimated at $80,000 — with donated materials and labor, mostly from Lanesville residents, making up a separate large infusion.
Private donations total almost $26,000, said Shore, with another $23,000 in public funds.
Meanwhile, the shack has received the equivalent of organ transplants from its historic cousin on Rocky Neck, the Paint Factory.
As parts of the old Tarr and Wonson Paint Factory were demolished on the path to restoration, beams and timbers were donated to the shack. Rough-sawn boards, donated by Peter Natti, were used for the floors. David Grace donated all the red-rolled roofing and white-cedar shingles, not yet in place.
Volunteer laborers on what is nominally now a halfway house include Hal Wentworth, who refurbished the granite foundation; and Russell Hobbs, Jim Hafey, and the Smith brothers — Robin and Zack — who have led the restoration from the start, said Shore.
“Their combined efforts tell a story of a shack that no longer sways in the wind,” he said.
The volunteer crew also includes Damon Cummings, Chris Nulty, Phil Goldsmith, Jim Oliver, Zack Smith Jr., Danny Brown, Barb Jobe, Megan Doughty, Arnie Shore, Jim Hafeys boys, Peter Parsons and Bill Stowell. Lunch has been provided by Katie and Sandy Stone, Mary Lou Nye, Cheryl Davis, Kyle Conant, Ron and Nancy Parnell,the Stowells, Elana Brink, Valerie Nelson, and Jim Caulkett, said Shore.
Gregg Smith and Stephanie Zieira are videographing the project, all of which is under the guidance of the building committee named by Mayor Carolyn Kirk last year, with chairman Jim Hafey, plus Cummings, Sanborn, Hobbs, Lisa Press, Jobe and Shore.
The treasured part of historic Lanesville faced the wrecking ball after it was declared “unsafe and dangerous” in June 2011. City building inspector Bill Sanborn had said the shack was so fragile, he could not even authorize repair work on it.
The shacks — dozens existed at their peak about 125 years ago — have indigenous and sentimental value. The earliest ones were built about 200 years ago, many constructed from shipwrecks, Gregg Smith pointed out.
The shack in question, one of six remaining from the fishing glory days of the cove, is the older of two owned by the city.
It was primarily used by fishermen to repair their nets.
Future uses for the rehabbed building are under discussion, such as a small museum, with multimedia presentations, or, simply, a place to repair nets.
Nancy Gaines is a regular Times correspondent and a longtime writer and editor of Boston-based and national publications.