On an excursion in 2003 to
take photographs of the historic town of
Crossing several sets of railroad tracks I approached the building which was in a deteriorated condition. I entered the structure and soon noticed that the construction of this building used a building technique that I did not expect in a building of this age.
Having been in many mill buildings of various types of approximately this age and earlier, I expected to see large wooden timbers and cross beams. This building had iron or steel columns and cross beams.
I took a number of photographs and decided to return and take measurements of the structure as I felt the building would not last much longer in the condition it was in.
I returned to the building several times during 2003 to complete the measurements. I had decided that this building would be an interesting structure to re-create using a computer design program that I had used for other studies.
Because of several projects I was then working on, I put aside this project for another time.
Eleven years later, in 2014 and with more time available, I looked through some uncompleted projects and found the measurements and photographs I had taken in 2003 of this unusual building. I decided to complete the project and finish the research I had started on this building.
I soon learned the building, after many attempts to restore it for various purposes, was demolished in 2007. Its fate had been decided through the courts. The building no longer existed.
I felt this structure would be interesting to virtually recreate as a 3D computer model.
The following study of this building was begun in 2015, eight years after its demolition.
What I learned of its history and use is presented in the following pages.
EARLY STEEL BUILDINGS
At the end of the nineteenth century, steel began to be used in the construction of large commercial buildings. This became the new method which allowed structures to be built higher and stronger then ever before.
Steel beams of various shape and sizes were being manufactured by steel producers as the demand for these structures increased. Steel rather then iron or cast iron which was brittle in comparison, made this transformation possible.
Steel beam structures at this time were assembled by using rivets to hold the various pieces of the infrastructure together.
Red-hot rivets were placed in pre-drilled holes in the steel beams. One man held the hot rivet in place with a tool designed for that purpose, while another man used a hand-held pneumatic hammer to hammer down the protruding end of the rivet into a rounded head, holding the pieces together.
This technique was used in the formation of steel structures that led to the construction of larger and taller buildings that we know as “Sky-Scrapers” today.
The first building
using this new steel technique was the Home Insurance Company building in
Insurance building was ten stories rising to 138 feet in height. The use of
steel in structures also reduced the risk of a spreading fire. The