The crew of five men put one piece of pipe after another into fittings on other pipes, building a framework of heavy duty steel on a parapet 19 stories above ground level.
They have been working on it since Monday. By the end of next week, steel I-beams will be attached securely to the framework, known as swing-stage scaffolding. The I-beams will jut horizontally from the very top of the Berks County Courthouse.
Soon afterward workers will begin descending in baskets attached to the I-beams to give the building a $6.9 million face-lift.
The courthouse was completed in 1932. Parts of the exterior were refurbished in the 1970s and in 1992. But this is believed to be the first total overhaul of the building’s skin.