After reinforcing the old roof and then propping up the entire structure using 2x6's it was now or never on cutting out the center. What a mess.
First Sean cut the middle section so that it was just resting in place. To get the roof lifted off and away from the house he used a couple car jacks to lift the entire thing up 6." Then (and I'm so glad the kids and I weren't home for this) he tied the roof to our jeep and yanked it off the house. Seriously. By some miracle the roof came off with no damage done to the house and no trips were made to the ER.
And there you have it.
Now to figure out how to build a gable. Google here we come.