DEFECTS IN TALL BUILDINGS

DEFECTS IN TALL BUILDINGS

OBJECTIONS to the skyscraper are beginning to multiply. So far as the old New York city (Manhattan borough) is concerned, it is obvious that under the present conditions of business they are a necessity, and that, so long as the piers of the great steamship lines, great mercantile houses, the banks, Custom house and other Federal buildings, the courts and municipal offices, the exchanges, the. railroad depots, and the like remain down town, the great bulk of the city’s business will be transacted there. And, as that business is ever on the increase, it is evident that it requires increased accommodation, which, owing to the exigencies of space and the enormous value of land within the required limits, renders the erection of skyscrapers an absolute necessity. The same law applies in many other cities, but we are convinced that in some there is no need for such architectural monstrosities, which, outside of New York, and, perhaps, a few more cities, are not a development, but the creation of certain owners of real estate, whose desire to get out of their piece of land tenfold more than it could have produced had an ordinary building been erected upon it. Yet it is certain that such structures admirably serve the interests of both landlord and tenant, and comprehend within their walls every possible conveniencefor the business man of the day—and that, at a cheaper rate than if these conveniences were distributed over several ordinary buildings of a smaller type. These ad vantages, however, are not without their corresponding disadvantages—the chief of which is the danger to human life accompanying their occupancy As Mr. Keiffer Lindsey of the university of Georgia, puts it in an article written for theSouthern Architect:

The term “steel construction” implies a structure, that is fireproof It must be remembered, however, that a building is not completed without ceiling, flooring, casings, and furniture, which generally consist of combustible material. If, then, a fire breaks out in the building, it can easily spread through the entire structure, burning the combustible substances employed While the removal of the inner finishing by fire would probably not result in the destruction of the main framework, yet it would be of sufficient intensity to destroy human life. In case the fire interfered in some way with the manipulation of the elevator, escape from the upper stories would be almost impossible It is with the greatest difficulty that a fire in the upper part of a fifteen-or twentystory building iscontroied. In addition to the inconvenience of reaching the fire, the pressure of the water at this elevation is far less than at points near the ground In order to get the water pipes out of the way. they are usually concealed in the walls, where they frequently come in contact with the main supports supports The pipes, in case of leakage, are liable to the steel. This action cannot be readily detec ted, and thus the principal supports may be so weakened, without warning, as to cause them to vield resulting in the collapse of the entire building. Since the height is much in excess of the other dimensions. the slightest defat in the foundation might effect the overthrow of the structure. These buildings also obstruct the light and fresh air from the adjacent streets and neighboring buildings.

Mr. Lindsey showed in a few words that these tall buildings area source of danger to the living, and that they stand in need of continual watching on the part of the municipal authorities.

DEFECTS IN TALL BUILDINGS

DEFECTS IN TALL BUILDINGS

OBJECTIONS to the skyscraper are beginning to multiply. So far as the old New York city (Manhattan borough) is concerned, it is obvious that under the present conditions of business they are a necessity, and that, so long as the piers of the great steamship lines, great mercantile houses, the banks, Custom house and other Federal buildings, the courts and municipal offices, the exchanges, the, railroad depots, and the like remain down town, the great bulk of the city’s business will be transacted there. And, as that business is ever on the increase, it is evident that it requires increased accommodation, which, owing to the exigencies of space and the enormous value of land within the required limits, renders the erection of skyscrapers an absolute necessity. The same law applies in many other cities, but we are convinced that in some there is no need for such architectural monstrosities, which, outside of New York, and, perhaps, a few more cities, are not a development, but the creation of certain owners of real estate, whose desire to get out of their piece of land tenfold more than it could have produced had an ordinary building been erected upon it. Yet it is certain that such structures admirably serve the interests of both landlord and tenant, and comprehend within their walls every possible convenience for the business man of the day–and that, at a cheaper rate than if these conveniences were distributed over several ordinary buildings of a smaller type. These advantages, however, are not without their corresponding -disadvantages-the chief of which is the danger to human life accompanying their occupancy As Mr. Keiffer Lindsey of the university of Georgia, puts it in an article written for the Southern Architect:

The term “steel construction” implies a structure, that is fireproof It must be remembered, however, that a building is not completed without ceiling, flooring, casings, and furniture, which generally consist of combustible material. If, then, a fire breaks out in the building, it can easily spread through the entire structure, burning the combustible substances employed While the removal of the inner finishing by fire would probably not result in the destruction of the main framework, yet it would be of sufficient intensity to destroy human life. In case the fire interfered in some way with the manipulation of the elevator, escape from the upper stories would be almost impossible’ It is with the greatest difficulty that a fire in the upper part of a fifteen-or twentystory building is controled. In addition to the inconvenience of reaching the fire, the pressure of the water at this elevation is far less than at points near the ground In order to get the water pipes out of the way. they are usually concealed in the walls, where they frequently come in contact with the main supports The pipes, in case of leakage, are liable to rust the steel. This action cannot be readily detected. and thus the principal supports may be so weakened, without warning, as to cause them to yield resulting in the collapse of the entire building. Since the height is much in excess of the other dimensions, the slightest defect in the foundation might effect the overthrow of the structure. These buildings also obstruct the light and fresh air from the adjacent streets and neighboring buildings.

Mr. Lindsey showed in a few w’ords that these tall buildings are a source of danger to the living, and that they stand in need of continual watching on the part of the municipal authorities.