A topping-out ceremony is a construction tradition that has been occurring in some fashion for centuries to celebrate project milestones. Traditionally, this ceremony occurs when the final structural beam is raised into place, completing the building’s frame. However, some projects celebrate this tradition when the highest beam is placed. As the Cape May firehouse construction continued, the final or top piece of the building was lifted by crane into position.
Thursday, December 29th, around 10:00 AM, a crane raised the final wooden structure to the top of the Cape May firehouse. Little fanfare took place before the generally celebrated event. A foreman added an American Flag to the roof of the structure at the last minute.
Historically, construction crews, ironworkers, and the like would install a flag or evergreen tree on the final beam to be placed. On hotel projects I was a part of, construction workers would even sign the final beam before it was raised. It was rumored that someone’s initials were carved into the wood somewhere.
Construction worker Anthony Lovell shared this inside view of the building cap being lowered into position. Used with permission.
Those wishing to see plans for constructing the new Cape May firehouse can visit the city website.
With the continued construction of the Cape May firehouse, the project is expected to be completed by summer.