Five Thousand Square Feet of Simplicity
After the city rejected our plan to place a mobile unit in the back of the cave, we went back to the drawing board, turning to the area where we spent most of our time: the front five-thousand square feet, in front of the existing wall.
Already enclosed by three walls and a ceiling/roof, the natural light, closeness to fresh air, and lower humidity, all looked attractive as an option. Construction in this area would only require one exterior wall and minimal structure.
The design involved placing a twenty-foot by fifty-foot platform thirteen feet above the first floor, supported by the front exterior wall and six posts, with open space for the kitchen below, and four rooms above.
Fire Marshal, Don DeClue suggested for egress we use a fire-exit hallway behind these rooms leading to a front balcony, and we loved the idea!
Happy Welch, who was the building commissioner for the City of Festus at that time, approved our plans, and the work began.