Save the Walls

by Marion H. Hart, Asst. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 9, Pg. 63-66

Document Type: Feature article


A rehabilitation job in name only, the 75 year old Army and Navy Club, a landmark located in Washington D.C.'s Golden Triangle, retained only two of its 80 ft high exterior walls when it was rebuilt last year. In the name of preservation, the owner spent $2.3 million, almost 10% of the project's total cost, to demolish the old building and prop up the two walls before recontruction could begin. To complicate matters further, a D.C. Metro tunnel ran under the southeast corner of the site and the building next door had to be underpinned. To protect the walls during demolition and construction, engineers had them braced with 20 ft deep vertical trusses that were placed 20 ft apart. Because Metro officials were concerned that the wind load on the truss system and the walls could damage the tunnel, tie downs were anchored to caissons into the solid rock below to anchor the system. The new building has 8 in. reinforced concrete flat slabs supported on spread footings with a bearing capacity of ranging from 12,000 psf to 20,000 psf.

Subject Headings: Walls | Subways | Tunnels | Trusses | Wind loads | Reinforced concrete | Rehabilitation | Historic preservation | Washington | United States

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