MOLINE --The traditional hoisting of a Christmas tree to the top of KONE's Moline offices took less than a minute Wednesday, but the work to get it there took many, many days.
Shortly after 10 a.m., a 40-feet artificial tree was placed on the roof of the eight-story KONE Centre, the new home for the company's North American Operational Headquarters.
KONE used to top its former building a few blocks away with a live tree, but this year it'is artificial, roughly half the height of the eight-story building and has a 20-feet base.
The tree was delivered in 177 boxes and its framework filled two shipping containers. In total, it has 355 branches, 83,000 branch tips and 5,910 clear LED lights.
"As anyone who has assembled an artificial tree knows, you have to bend out all of those branches and it is a long tedious process," said Dave Bisby, maintenance manager for Financial District Properties, which developed KONE Centre.
He and other Financial District Property staffers, with teams of KONE volunteers and assistance from Quad City Window Cleaning, started assembling the tree on Nov. 7 and completed it Monday. It will be lighted Saturday during Lighting of the Commons.
"It was a process to assemble the framework and get the branches attached," Mr. Bisby said. "We took extra measures to attach the branches so they will not get caught in a gust of wind and cause the tree to come tumbling down."
Each branch has lights that had to be plugged into the frame. The volunteers took an extra step and secured the lights with tape.
Mr. Bisby said the work this year was not any more difficult than with the live trees in years past. "Over there, we did it so many times, it was second nature to us. This is a new process for us, a new location, and it's a learning experience. We are developing the process as we go along."
When KONE Centre was built, a reinforced platform was placed on the roof specifically to hold a tree. On Tuesday, Financial District Properties had an additional steel base constructed and placed on the platform Wednesday to further secure the tree.
Cattani Crane hoisted the tree to the roof and iron workers from Industrial Steel Erectors secured it in place.
When the season is over, the tree won't be stored whole or in large pieces. "We have to put in back into the boxes," Mr. Bisby said, adding that it's very difficult to neatly re-pack a Christmas tree.
Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.