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 Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital. 1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post . 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.