Author Archive

Week 4 research

April 12, 2012

Week 4 research. Redrawing to scale of the basement of the brunswick. Many features are present in this basement that make it a very interesting architectural piece. Along with the obvious storage compartments, this basement hosts a bakery, laundry room, and barber shop.

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Last Week’s Blog

April 3, 2012

Having switched what I am doing for my final project I was somewhat behind and confused on how I should go about conducting my research. Two weeks ago I focused on the background of Emlen Urban and the Brunswick hotel. However, this made no progress in actually recreating and analyzing the primary architecture documents of the building. After meeting with Prof. Kourelis Friday, I found the path I want to go with my project and took this weekend to focus on analyzing the blueprints of the Brunswick. I took one of the main floors “typical floor with rooms” and analyzed this floor plan. After doing so I made my own re-creation of the floor plan to scale on an 9 by 12 piece of drawing paper.

From here I plan to use this re-creation to make a 3 dimensional model on google sketch up. Now that I have a hard copy of the document and the scale and size of building I will be able to proceed to the modeling step. Additionally, I will follow this same process and re-draw to scale the floor model of the basement, dining room, and any other floors that are different from this typical living/multiple room floor.

Library research

March 23, 2012

Now that I have explored many of Emlen Urban’s architectural documents and settled on one specific building, The Brunswick Hotel, I am now able to focus on and gather historical information on both the architect and the building. To begin my search I went to the special collections section of Martin library in order to find accurate information on both Emlen Urban and the Brunswick Hotel.

C. Emlen Urban was one of the most prominent figures in the shaping of how Lancaster now. Urban from the last part of the 19th century through the first few decades of the 20th century, No one had a bigger impact on Lancaster’s architecture than Urban. Urban didn’t limit his talents to large commercial buildings. Additionally, He used his talents in the development of residences, schools, churches, hospitals, and the only standing skyscraper in Lancaster City. Emlen Urban was the most significant architect in Lancaster during this time. Using diverse styles incorporating beaux-arts, Queen Annes, and colonial revival, his work helped to bridge a period between the Victorian era and the modern era.

One of Emlen Urban’s most significant structures, which is no longer standing, was the famous Brunswick Hotel. Sitting at the Northeast corner of North Queen and East Chestnut, right next to the YMCA, the Brunswick hotel was demolished in July 1965. This was not the first time the building had been destroyed. First built in the late 1800s, the building was demolished in the first decade of the 1900s in order for Urban to recreate the building in his famous style. Under Urban’s design and plan, the Eight-story Brunswick Hotel was built in two stages. First, a seven-bay western portion was completed in 1915 and a complementary eastern portion was finished in 1920. Urban employed his signature Beaux Arts style to the building. Additionally he used rusticated stone on the ground floors, carved keystones and window lintels along with decorative cartouches lined the eighth floor cornice. The Brunswick was a hotel of beauty and Lancaster’s finest luxury hotel. Unfortunately, The Brunswick hotel was again destroyed in 1966 and Emlen Urbans design crashed to the ground. The new construction was suppose to be one of a new modern era. However, the aesthetic beauty will never compare to Emlen Urbans design of the Brunswick.

Special Collections:

Lancaster’s Architectural Heritage, http://cityoflancasterpa.com/lancastercity/cwp,browse.asp?a=869. To Build Strong and Substantial.

Our Present Past (Historical blurbs on all of the architectural buildings in lancaster since the late 1800s.)

Now and Forward

From here into next week I will begin to focus on analyzing the construction of the Brunswick. Originally I analyzed the documents to choose which one I wanted to pursue. Now that I have background and historical Information, I was shift my focus to analyzing the Brunswick and begin creating my 3 dimensional model of the building. Next week I will be much more involved at the preservation trust rather than being hung up in the library.

Primary sources explored and changed final Project.

March 9, 2012

After taking a trip to the Lancaster Historical Preservation trust, and discussing with Professor Kourelis, I have decided to go a slightly different way in my research project. Originally, I had planned to construct a 3D model of the Greist tower and analyze its aesthetic beauty and significance in Lancaster. However, I came to find that there are no surviving blueprints and architectural documents on this amazing building. Fortunately, After going to the Preservation trust and analyzing many different blue prints and buildings constructed by Emlen Urban, I found a building that I thought was very interested and I would like to pursue in my research. This building is the Brunswick hotel, which designed by Urban, no longer exists.

The Hotel Brunswick has been a part of Lancaster since 1776 but there have been major renovations and rebuilds over the years. In 1914, the Hotel Brunswick was torn down and C. Emlen Urban took on the task to design the new building.

While in the Preservation trust, after an hour or two of browsing I decided to focus my research on the hotel Brunswick and analyze its blueprint. From the original architectural drawing I was able to determine that this building was constructed in a trabeated post-and-lintel style. This is very similar to the Greist tower that I had originally wanted to study. The trabeated construction suggests that the building was designed with a divisive plan. The building is an overall rectangular shape with rooms and other pieces cut out of the rectangular design.  This is expected and seen in many buildings with a symmetric design. Like the Greist tower and many other large, tall buildings, the symmetric divisive plan is the best way to maximize space and allow for a large strong standing building. The Hotel Brunswick would have been constructed using steel beams to follow the post-and-lintel design. If you look between the windows in the blueprints, you can see where the steel beams would be located under the stone façade of the building. The virtical and horizontal symmetry of the windows allows for beams to travel vertical and horizontal between them, while never being seen from any point of the building. The bottom floor of Urban’s design incorporates many beux-art elements and is very aesthetically pleasing to those who view this level from the ground floor. From the bottom floor, the next 6 floors are fairly basic symmetric windows with little creativity. This relates to the Utilitas of the building which is used to house many people in a small area. This part of the hotel has hundreds of rooms devised out of the rectangular shape. From the work that I plan to do and research on the hotel Brunswick, I would like to create a 3 dimensional model of the building and then relate its aesthetic beauty and significance to Lancaster during the time it stood. The Hotel Brunswick was a long standing significant hotel until it was demolished in the year 1966. I will take the architectural documents and other photos of this building to recreate it 3 dimensionally and bring it back to life in Lancaster during the 1920s.

Elevation plan

Original Research Proposal

March 9, 2012

Research Proposal

For my final research project, I plan to investigate the elements that C. Emlen Urban applied in the design of his buildings. After my investigation I will see how these elements were applied to designing of the Greist tower. From here I will specifically focus on the Greist tower and become an expert in the elements and architectural design used to create the building. I will then use primary sources, specifically, pictures and architectural documents to reproduce a 3 dimensional model of the beautiful skyscraper. In my final task, I will use what I learned about the Greist tower and its construction to analyze its aesthetic beauty and historical significance to the City of Lancaster.

 

I will use many primary sources during the completion of my research. I will use many pictures and architectural documents such as blueprints in order to recreate my 3 dimensional model. The Lancaster Historical Society and Lancaster Preservation trust will serve as my main sources where I will analyze the pictures and blueprints. The Greist tower, being the only skyscraper and very significant building in the city, there are many surviving pictures and documents that will aid in my research. I should have no trouble finding primary sources.

 

C. Emlen Urban, Greist Tower elevation Plan.

 

C. Emlen Urban, Greist Tower floor plan.

 

Pictures of building from early years and construction (Not yet collected)

 

Along with the primary sources, secondary sources will play a large roll in my research as well.  In conducting my research on Emlen Urban’s background and the history of constructing skyscrapers, I will resort to secondary sources for this information. Having searched Shadek-Fakenthal Library, here are a list of some secondary sources on campus that will aid in the start of my research.

 

Curtis, William. Modern Architecture since 1900. London: Phaidon, 1996.

 

Johnson, Scott. Tall Building: Imagining the Skyscraper: 2008.

 

Sullivan, Louis H. “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered.” Lippincott’s Magazine Mar. 1896

 

 

Week-By-Week plan:

 

Week 7:

  • Explore secondary sources to learn Emlen Urban’s architectural style.
  • Become familiar with primary sources at Lancaster Historical Society and Preservation Trust.
  • Relate Urban’s style and elements to his design of the Greist Tower.

 

Week 8:

  • Explore background on construction of skyscrapers and their significances in cities around America
  • Continue research and exploration of primary sources.
  • Relate material learned on skyscrapers to Emlen Urban’s tower.

Week 9:

  • Design 3D model of Greist tower
  • Analyze the buildings aesthetic value and significance in Lancaster.

 

Week 10:

  • Finish compiling research
  • Use research over the entire semester to Write final research paper and develop presentation of material.

 

Historical Issues

February 24, 2012

In hearing Frederic Klein’s point of view of Lancaster in his time, he makes clear the important issues that the growth of the city had on the people and the culture. One of the main issues facing people in  Lancaster was the increase in consumerism and the spending of money. As the technology increased, more convenient stores and department stores were constructed. This created more jobs for people in the city and thus ultimately lead to more money being spent in the newly developed stores. This trend caused an economic boom in Lancaster during this time. Additionally, while more money was being spent, as we have seen in the buildings we have observed, many banks were first brought into play around this time. With the increase in jobs, and increase in consumerism, there was additionally an increase in saving. Many banks were introduced at this time and many people of the city took advantage of the opportunity to save in these institutions. Following up on consumerism and issue of spending money, Advertisement became very popular around this time. Advertising became a problem as it influenced consumerism and the spending of money. Additionally, around this time, Klein saw the first cars in Lancaster and noticed their boom. Everyone in the town wanted to have one of these new machines and continuation of spending money and working more only lead to a more rapid economic boom. If I am correct I remember Klein saying if the growth of the city would have continued its growth the population today would be 1 million.

Modeling Space research project

February 24, 2012

For my research project I have decided to pursue the modeling space option and create a 3D model of one of Emlen Urban’s buildings. I have decided to recreate one of the most important buildings in Lancaster, the Griest tower. I will use the 3D model to answer questions relating to its space and beauty. Specifically, one cultural issue I plan to analyze and test is how the significance of the size of building relates its power and significance to the city. Being the only skyscraper in Lancaster, and at one point in time holding all offices for the utility companies of Lancaster, the Griest tower holds a large significance in the center circle of Lancaster. I hope to connect this size and power of the tall building to the culture and power of the city in which it exists.

Historical Issues

February 24, 2012

In hearing Frederic Klein’s point of view of Lancaster in his time, he makes clear the important issues that the growth of the city had on the people and the culture. One of the main issues facing people in  Lancaster was the increase in consumerism and the spending of money. As the technology increased, more convenient stores and department stores were constructed. This created more jobs for people in the city and thus ultimately lead to more money being spent in the newly developed stores. This trend caused an economic boom in Lancaster during this time. Additionally, while more money was being spent, as we have seen in the buildings we have observed, many banks were first brought into play around this time. With the increase in jobs, and increase in consumerism, there was additionally an increase in saving. Many banks were introduced at this time and many people of the city took advantage of the opportunity to save in these institutions. Following up on consumerism and issue of spending money, Advertisement became very popular around this time. Advertising became a problem as it influenced consumerism and the spending of money. Additionally, around this time, Klein saw the first cars in Lancaster and noticed their boom. Everyone in the town wanted to have one of these new machines and continuation of spending money and working more only lead to a more rapid economic boom. If I am correct I remember Klein saying if the growth of the city would have continued its growth the population today would be 1 million.

Greist Tower, 8 N. Queen

February 17, 2012

Firmitas:

The Greist tower has a trabeated construction. Made of steel, the building was built 14 stories tall with post and lintel type construction. This is common in the tall symmetrical nature of the skyscraper. This type of construction is evident if you notice the exterior of the wall between the upper windows. The windows from floor 2, 3rd story, all the way to the 13th floor are in perfect vertical and horizontal alignment. Within the windows are raised portions of the limestone which is evidence that the steel beams are present. The steel beams used in the post and lintel construction travel horizontally and vertically between the windows.

Utilitas:

The Utilitas of the large skyscraper is evident from first look. The bottom floor is tall and open with large arched windows. Today, this floor houses the Bank of America. The open large floor is aesthetically pleasing to the people who travel by and makes people feel welcome. The 2 story bottom floor is also important in housing the large bank inside. Above the first floor are 12 floors of symmetric windows that are tinted and unviewable by the outer public. These windows which suggest multiple rooms house many offices for important utility companies in lancaster. The size and simple symmetric construction of the skyscraper has great use housing firms needing many offices located near each other.

Venustas:

The Greist Tower, being the only skyscraper and tallest building in Lancaster, has an importance to the city that must be upheld and displayed through its aesthetic beuty. From first look at the tower, other than its size, most people notice the huge 12 foot arched windows on the first floor of the building. These buildings provide an open and welcome feel to walker-bys. Also, the round arches display power and size as represented by the Romans in earlier years. Additionally, most of the exterior is constructed of limestone. The light beij color of the limestone is easy on the eyes and I believe has a nice pleasing appearance. Another part of the tower that is quickly noticed by the public is the detail and artwork above the first floor. Above the large 2 story first floor is a ledge with flower type artwork carved into the exterior. Above the first floor, less beauty and mor business is evident in the construction except for the last 2 floors. The 12th and 13th floors are made of a different material and has ledges above and below the 2 floors. Additionally, the windows are different from the office styled below and are more aesthetically pleasing. This is expected as the height of the building allows for these 2 floors to be seen from many points in Lancaster.

 

Elevation Plan:

Modeling Space research project

February 17, 2012

For my research project I have decided to pursue the modeling space option and create a 3D model of one of Emlen Urban’s buildings. I have decided to recreate one of the most important buildings in Lancaster, the Greist tower. I will use the 3D model to answer questions relating to its space and beauty. Specifically, one cultural issue I plan to analyze and test is how the significance of the size of building relates its power and significance to the city. Being the only skyscraper in Lancaster, and at one point in time holding all offices for the utility companies of Lancaster, the Greist tower holds a large significance in the center circle of Lancaster. I hope to connect this size and power of the tall building to the culture and power of the city in which it exists.