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Subject: Re: Construction Problems With Library Tower (peter)

Peter Lewicke
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Date Posted: 16:52:56 06/20/05 Mon
In reply to: Robb 's message, "Construction Problems With Library Tower (peter)" on 22:00:54 06/18/05 Sat

>I know the library tower was open for business in 75
>when I first went to UMass. It was insufferably hot
>inside that May because the AC was reportedly not
>There was another rumor that the I've not confirmed
>that the tower had some novel suspension using cables.
>Seems unlikely but the rumor was there was a
>miscalculation of the maximum weight this suspension
>scheme could handle... no one calculated the weight of
>the books. Hence that's why there were some many
>floors with study rooms and so many other libraries
>still around campus... such as in Hasbroouck and
>I seem to recall being able to walk right up to the
>tower back in 75/76. I don't recall the small fence
>around the library until maybe fall 77. At first it
>was chips of bricks from the expansion joints between
>the bigger blocks of veneer. Then there was fear the
>bigger sections, themselves, were not properly
>attached. That's when the tunnel to South College...
>the old building to the west, was reinforced with
>tires and the tower was closed for a year or so. All
>the books were all moved back to Goddell during that
>If anyone can flesh out the timelines, feel free.

I was around there in '75-6 and earlier and also remember the library without a fence around it. It was finished in '73. Moving the books was scheduled over three years, so most books were moved by '75. I don't remember when the bricks started chipping, but it wasn't long after it opened.

I understand that the plans were off the shelf from the architectural company, but I don't know anything about cable stabilization. I thought that it was an ordinary steel frame tower. Before and during construction there was a great deal of annoyance with the type of building. About 30% of each floor is for elevators. A six story building covering the main level would have provided more effective floor area.

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Re: Construction Problems With Library Tower (peter)Peter Lewicke00:10:37 06/21/05 Tue

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