Item of Interest

"What are those steel bars arranged in parallel lines lying in the bottom of the excavation?" asked an observer of another at one of the apertures in the fence surrounding the new Publishing House building. Near by were four large trucks filled with crushed stone shortly to be dumped through the aperture. "Those rods are the reinforcing for the concrete basement floor," was the answer. "Why are the ends fabricated with a curve or hook?" "So that other steel rods running horizontally in the next floor section, or vertically in a partition, can be readily affixed." "What purpose have those groups of vertical steel bars placed at intervals?" "They run down into the concrete footings, and their purpose is to reinforce the concrete columns which will support the first floor. The large steel columns at the farther end of Section 'B' extend from the basement floor to the ceiling of the Press Room. These pipe lines suspended in the air at street level were exposed by the excavating. They carry the steam from the heating plant in the present Publishing House building to the apartments owned by the Church on the north side of Clearway Street." "That looks like hay spread over much of the surface of what will be the basement floor." "Yes, that is salt water hay, and it generates heat and thus keeps the concrete from freezing in the cold weather while it gradually hardens." 'How are the steel sheets holding up the soil at the extreme edge of the plot supported, so that they do not fall into the excavation?" "They are interlocking and are supported by heavy wooden beams braced from the basement foundation. Those two men passing through are the inspector and the timekeeper: the job has constant supervision." "I notice that the steam shovel near the Massachusetts Avenue end of the site is not working." "Yes, that part of the operations has gone faster than has the demolishing of the buildings fronting Massachusetts Avenue. You will notice that earth removed by this shovel has been trucked to the farther end of Section 'B' and used for the back filling after the concrete basement walls were constructed. One thousand cubic yards were used in this way.

"It is interesting to see how the wreckers are taking down the former office building, especially that part constructed of reinforced concrete. They drill holes in the wall, then cut the steel with acetylene torches, after which a large section, perhaps thrity-four feet long and one story in height, can be pulled off by the following method: A steel rope is attached from the section to a truck loaded with stone, which puts sufficient pressure on the rope to pull the concrete from the wall to the vacant lot below."

"The Reading Room of The Mother Church was formerly in this building?" "Yes, but it is to have more commodious and attractive quarters just across on Norway Street. The floor area is practically fan-shaped, with the librarian's quarters at the smaller end. The ceiling is of acoustic plaster, and is therefore sound absorbing. The walls are of paneled wood painted buff color, and the draperies blue and sand color like the carpet brought from the former quarters. Some of the fittings of the room are those previously in use, as is also some of the equipment, including the ventilating fans, plumbing fixtures, ceiling lights, and so on. The windows are of the type which are kept closed, thus shutting out noise and dust. A ventilating system is installed, which filters the air and admits it through ducts connected with the radiators which are recessed into the walls. Both the ventilation and the heat are controlled from wall thermostats."

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April 9, 1932

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