UPDATED 02/04/11 9:17 a.m.
Following the blizzard this week, most people were pulling out their shovels or snow blowers, while some were just trying to skid through it.
But an artist from the Andersonville neighborhood has taken advantage of the snow to build an igloo.
Darick Maasen has been building an 8.5-foot-by-11-foot igloo in his backyard. He has been working on the project for the past few days with some friends.
Maasen said shortly after midnight Friday that he was adding three or four more layers before declaring the project complete.
Maasen told CBS 2 the igloo was the brainchild of his friend, Drew Huening, who has owned an igloo kit for a few years, but has had limited success in past attempts to build igloos.
“He always had problems with the amount of snow being too little, or not having the ‘right kind of snow’, it needs to be a little dry, but sticky,” Maasen said in an e-mail. “This was the PERFECT snow for the project.”
Maasen moved into his apartment with its sizable backyard this past summer. He and Huening decided if the right kind of snow fell, they would go ahead with the igloo project.
They built the igloo using a system called “The Icebox” by the company Grand Shelters. The design involves setting p a form with clamps and filling it while packing the snow, using poles to maintain the structure.
The design is intended for construction in the tundra for protection from the elements, but is usually hard to build in cities due to the lack of snow, Maasen said.
Maasen says the igloo probably won’t be opened to the public, but will be used for a party on Saturday to celebrate its completion, and a Super Bowl party on Sunday.
“Of course, our neighbors have been curious and have pitched in ladders, tools and labor. They and their kids (who are amazed) are more than welcome to check it out,” Maasen wrote.
Maasen and Huening built the igloo with a team of friends, including Selena Grodek, Tim Shumate, Kish Jackson, Donald Price, Evan Kuchar, Tina Rasic, Ashley Haywood, Andrew Kyser, Jovak Zdravkovis, Tim Merrill and several others who dropped by.
The word “igloo” is derived from the Inuit word “iglu,” which refers not only to houses built out of snow, but also out of other materials such as sod or driftwood. But outside of Inuit society, an “igloo” only refers to a house constructed of snow, usually in a domed structure.
CBS 2 Web Producer Adam Harrington contributed to this report.