Treanor Architects Blog/News

Shoptalk: Sheet Metal Ornamentation

2014-10-10 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
sheet metal ornamentation

Definition:
pressed or stamped sheet metal used to adorn and attract attention to a building; sheet metal ornamentation can be used on both the exterior and interior of a building

Examples:
Sheet metal ornamentation is predominantly found in late 19th-century and early 20th-century buildings as mass-production of architectural ornamentation became more prevalent. The ornamental products are manufactured from tin, zinc, copper and brass. Sheet metal ornamentation can be seen on a building’s exterior in the form of balusters, brackets, conductor heads, finials, window hoods and cornices.

The W.F. Norman Corporation, located in Nevada, Missouri, continues to produce sheet metal ornaments using the same production methods and original dies as were used over a century ago. Their catalog includes a product line of 140 ceiling components and over 1,300 ornaments. The W.F. Norman Corporation replicated a missing section of the Heaton Building’s cornice using original dies. Go to www.wfnorman.com for more information about this regional treasure, or better yet, call for a plant tour!

Here are just a few items our project manager, Dana Gould, saw on a tour of the W.F. Norman plant. On the left is a column capital form W.F. Norman uses to produce sheet metal column capitals and to the right is a sample of the company’s pressed metal moldings.
W.F. Norman

The Heaton Building in Norton, Kansas exhibits sheet metal window hoods, cornice line and pressed metal interior ceilings. The window hoods and cornice line can be seen in the image below. Original stamps from W.F. Norman were used to replicate the pressed metal cornices.
Heaton Building

A few more examples of sheet metal ornamentation can be seen on the Dugout, located at the Pioneer Ridge Development within a National Register historic district. On the left is a metal pedimented window hood, and on the right, is a metal keystone ornament.
Diagram of Joist Hangers

Kansas Statehouse Wins 2014 AIA Kansas Design Award

2014-10-03 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Treanor Architects’ Kansas Statehouse preservation and restoration project was recognized today at the AIA Kansas Design Awards with the 2014 Excellence in Renovation/Preservation Award.

Congratulations to the State of Kansas and all those who worked on the project!

Kansas Statehouse Exterior

Kansas Statehouse with the new public entrance, the Visitors Center, in the foreground.

Kansas Statehouse Rotunda

The restored rotunda at the Kansas Statehouse.

State Library of Kansas

The rehabilitated State Library of Kansas, located in the North Wing of the capitol.

Shoptalk: Clay Tile Flat Arch

2014-09-19 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
clay tile flat arch

Definition:
a floor framing system using hollow terra-cotta blocks; developed as a lighter, more economical alternative to the solid brick fireproof system commonly used in the 19th century

Examples:
It is common to find clay tile flat arch systems when restoring or renovating late 1800s and early 1900s buildings. One example of the clay tile flat arch system is the side method arch, shown in the figure below. The top figure, (a), shows the original version of the side method (a. I-beam, b. skewbacks, c. thin tile, d. tile blocks, e. wood nailing strips, f. concrete g. flooring) and the bottom figure, (b), shows a improved, stronger version of the method (a. skewbacks, b. lower flange, c. arch block, d. key block, e. wood nailing strips, f. concrete). (Source: A Treatise on Architecture and Building Construction Vol2: Masonry. Carpentry. Joinery., 1899)
Fig. 76 from Treatise on Architecture and Building Construction Vol. 2

Clay tile flat arch systems were found throughout the Kansas Statehouse during the restoration of the capitol. Below is clay tile flat arch found in the historic Supreme Court Chamber.
Diagram of Joist Hangers

This image shows the typical floor/ceiling construction of the Statehouse's North and South Wings.
Diagram of Joist Hangers

Shoptalk: Archaic/Antiquated Structural System

2014-08-08 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
archaic/antiquated structural system

Definition:
any structural system, often a historic proprietary product, no longer used in modern construction

Examples:
The Grand Masonic Lodge of Kansas was built in 1917 at the corner of 8th and Jackson Streets in Topeka, Kansas. The building is a concrete frame structure with an exterior stone cladding. The original structural drawings indicated “Floretyle” was to be used to span between the concrete beams. This was found to be a reference to the Truscon Floretyle System, produced by the Truscon Steel Company of Youngstown, Ohio. Designed as a form of reinforced concrete construction, the ribbed steel Floretyles were left in place once the concrete was poured. A metal lath system for plaster was integrated into the Floretyles during construction to create a flat ceiling beneath.

Not just a quaint misspelling, “Floretyle” in the original structural drawings for the Grand Masonic Lodge of Kansas warranted further research.
Floretyle in Grand Lodge

A diagram of the Floretyle system.(Source: Truscon Steel Company, Truscon Floretyle Construction, 1923)
Floretyle Diagram

A photo from the Truscon Floretyle pamphlet shows a typical installation in progress. (Source: Truscon Steel Company, Truscon Floretyle Construction, 1923)
Floretyle Installation

Shoptalk: Swept Standing Seam

2014-07-31 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
swept standing seam

Definition:
used to finish a standing seam in sheet metal as the seam turns up a wall surface or to transition from one wall plane to another through an acute angle

Examples: See More Examples
Standing seam sheet metal has a long history of use as a roofing and wall cladding. Most commonly this cladding is applied over broad expanses with consistent slopes or over convex or concave curvatures. At inside corners, such as where a sloped surface meets a vertical surface, the seam can be swept or stood up. This is done by introducing a fold or pleat into the upturned edge at the change in direction. The extra thickness of metal at such locations requires hand work to turn the seam. This technique of sweeping the seam can be used to turn the standing seam up the wall and continue it, or it may be used to cleanly finish the panel at a reglet or other termination. It can also be used to sweep the seam into a soffit of overhang.

A sweep can be used to transition from standing seam to vertical upstand. (Source: Copper Roofing: A Practical Handbook, Copper Development Association, CDA Publication No. 57, 1959/1961)
CDA publication No. 57

Celebrating Community & Each Other

2014-07-25 Posted By: Jac Samp
Jim Bogle, Vicki Kraft & Kathy Stone presented to our team, and we are committed to help!Jim Bogle, Vicki Kraft & Kathy Stone presented to our team, and we are committed to help!
Mark Muller describes material selection choices.Mark Muller describes material selection choices.
Dave Livingood walks the team through design options for Texas A&M.Dave Livingood walks the team through design options for Texas A&M.
Greg Kimball takes charge, pointing out details for his team.Greg Kimball takes charge, pointing out details for his team.
Sharon Schmitz shares special considerations about design for justice.Sharon Schmitz shares special considerations about design for justice.

Shoptalk: Crimped Copper

2014-07-25 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
crimped copper

Definition:
sheet copper that has been crimped such that the profile is corrugated

Examples: Read More
Historically, crimped copper was not just an aesthetic choice, the crimping also made the sheet copper stronger. This allowed a lighter material to be used and sometimes it was used without sheathing to support it from the backside. That was the case at Grant Hall. Replicating the historic crimp proved to be challenge, modern crimped copper doesn’t have the same profile or pattern repeat. Several custom fabricators were contacted to find a crimper that matched the historic copper; Heather & Little, Ltd was found to have a crimper that was still capable of producing the full size sheets need for the project. Renaissance Roofing formed and installed the crimped copper.

Comparison on historic and modern crimped copper.
Comparison of crimped copper

Shoptalk: Crenelated

2014-07-17 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
crenelated / crenellatedr

Definition:
having a parapet wall in the form of a battlement with alternating openings (embrasures or crenels) and raised sections (merlons) located at the top of the wall or roof (Source: Bucher, Ward and Madrid, Christine. Dictionary of Building Preservation. Preservation Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996.)

Examples:
Waldo Water Tower was completed in 1920 by the Kansas City Water Department as one of the largest reinforced concrete standpipes of its time. The water tower provided 1,000,000 gallons of fresh water to the surrounding neighborhood before it was decommissioned in 1957. Today, the tower stands as a community landmark in Tower Park, which is maintained by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department. The tower is currently undergoing a multi-year $750,000 restoration funded by the City of Kansas City Public Improvements Advisory Council (PIAC) and lead by Treanor Architects. The crenelated parapet walls are a key defining feature of the tower.

Waldo Water Tower historic elevation (Source: Kansas City Water Treatment Facility) marked with elements of a crenelated wall.
Waldo Water Tower Elevation

Shoptalk: Concealed Header

2014-07-09 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
concealed header

Definition:
Historically, brick buildings were load bearing construction and the brick was both finish and structure and relied on multiple vertical layers or wythes of brick. The stacking or bonding of the brick in such structures usually exhibits the manner in which the layers of the wall tie together. In the modern era, brick has typically been used as a veneer and the bonding pattern generally is described as running bond. This visual difference is usually used to differentiate historic and modern use of brick. But there are a few historic buildings that exhibit running bond pattern for the exterior finish. Such buildings typically utilized concealed headers, sometimes called diagonal headers.

Examples: See More Examples
Historic detail: running bond with concealed header (Source: International Text Book Company, International Library of Technology 31D, 1923)
Running bond with concealed header

Shoptalk: Tooled Margin

2014-07-02 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Term:
tooled margin

Definition:
a masonry finish that gives the appearance of a band at the edge of a stone, typically one inch or more in width (Source: International Text Book Company, International Library of Technology 31D, 1923)

In traditional stone cutting margins, also called drafts, were used to layout the face of the stone and square it for installation in the wall. In softer stones, such as limestone, the margin is typically hand tooled with a chisel and mallet to create parallel fluted grooves in the stone. Modern machine cut tooling tends to be square in profile rather than fluted and lacks the slight irregularities of handwork that makes it pleasing to the eye.

Examples: See More Examples
The graphic below, Figure 28 from the International Library of Technology 31D, demonstrates a tooled margin.
Tooled Margin Figure