Iron Workers Hoist Christmas Tree & US Flag at Augie

Dec 10, 2018

It's a beautiful day for a topping off on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island. Union workers used a crane to lift the final two steel beams onto the four-story addition to the Hanson Hall of Science. One of the beams is painted blue and has been signed by college students, faculty, and staff. The other features a Christmas tree and an American flag.

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Two members of Local #111 of the Iron Workers union bolted the beams into place on the roof of the circular wing.

It's traditional to place a Christmas tree and the US flag on the last I-beam.

The tree is a symbol of safety on the job so far.

It also honors Native Americans and the idea that no building will ever surpass nature.

The project manager from Russell Construction says last week, a crew poured the concrete for the first floor of the $9 million Hanson addition. And the roof should be built by the end of the year.

An email from the college says "the first evidence of trees being hoisted atop buildings was in 700 A.D. in Scandinavia."