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 Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.