Historic Structural Detail: Grillages

Just stating the facts of a piece of technological history can point up curiosities. Steel skeleton-frame construction dates to 1890, but reinforced concrete construction lagged behind; the details of steel framing developed into recognizably modern forms much faster than their concrete counterparts did. So…what did the columns of those steel frames sit on, if not reinforced-concrete footings …

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Historic Swingamabob

I expect to see really weird things in buildings on a regular basis, and am never disappointed. Today’s really weird thing comes from one of Marie’s site visits: Water tank in a sling! Four slings, actually. Here’s another view: It’s rather elegant: a steel strap as the sling, connected by clevises to hanger rods with …

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Historic Structural…What? The Metropolitan Floor

Continuing on the theme of hidden details, let’s talk about how structures end. Not how they fail, how they end. What happens when you get to the edge of a building, or the top, or the edge of a floor at an opening? Part of the basic logic of structural analysis is that forces have …

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Historic Structural Detail: Inside

A problem that we face again and again at OSE is that so much of the structure we deal with is not visible. People have to take our word for what’s hidden behind plaster and carpet, and a lot of the old structural systems are difficult to visualize if you’re not familiar with them. Probes …

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