May 28, 2009

Final Beam Raised at Eastman "Topping Out" Ceremony

This morning, the final steel beam was raised for the new building adjacent to the Eastman Theatre. Despite the pouring rain, many people from the Eastman School of Music and the RPO, along with local dignitaries and area residents, gathered in a tent just off Main Street to celebrate the occasion.

“Topping Out” is the term used in the construction world to indicate that the final piece of steel is being raised into place. Following the tradition, the beam was painted white and everyone attending the ceremony was invited to sign the beam.

The Eastman School added a new musical touch – with percussionists “playing” the beam using percussion mallets and actual hammers. For good luck, the beam was also decorated with a small evergreen tree – an old European tradition – and an American flag.

Following the ceremony, everyone gathered across the street at the YMCA and watched as the beam was raised into place, to fanfare from an Eastman brass ensemble.

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