Week 3: Tall Office Buildings



For my research this week my goal was to gather primary source information. I visited the Lancaster preservation trust to examine the drawings of the Brunswick Hotel.


Summary: At the preservation trust I looked at the floor plant for the 5th floor of Brunswick Hotel. This plan was identical to the 6th and 7th floors. Additionally I looked 3rd floor plan. The drawing I focused most was the foundation drawing. I used it to determine the location of the I-Beams. While the 5th floor plan had the location of the I-Beams it also included lots of other measurements that were not essential to my project. The foundation drawings provided clear locations of the I-Beams. I recorded the distances between the I-Beams in my sketchbook. Next I looked at the elevation of the Brunswick hotel. I determined that each floor was a total of 11’, however this does not include the 1’ I-Beam thickness, and the 3’’ floor thickness. Floors 2 through 7 had identical dimensions, but the 8th and 1st floors had different dimensions. In total the building had 28 I-Beams.

Dr. Kourelis, Sean and I began to catalogue the various drawings of the Brunswick Hotel. Dr. Kourelis took pictures of all of the drawings and will upload them to edisk. This will be a valuable recourse for our class in terms of looking at various architectural elements of the Brunswick Hotel.

With this primary source information, I will now take my project in a new direction. For next week I will utilize Google SketchUp to create a structural model of the I-Beams of the Brunswick Hotel. Along with the model, I will compare the structural ratios of the Brunswick Hotel to other C Emlen Urban office buildings built around the same time. I looked at the article To Build Strong and Substantial to get an idea of what buildings I would use as a point of comparison. I plan to compare the Brunswick Hotel to the Hager Building, Kirk Johnson Building, and the Greist Building. The problem I face with these other buildings is that the original plans are not available for them. I plan to visit these building and map out the dimensions by walking between the I-Beams and counting my paces. This method is can provide inaccuracy for two reasons. One measuring something by paces in not that accurate, and since the I-Beams are not exposed I have estimate their location based on the external structure of the building. However, for my purposes this will provide a good approximation of the structure of the I-Beams for the other Urban buildings.


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