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 Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line. 1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.