Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!
archaic/antiquated structural system
any structural system, often a historic proprietary product, no longer used in modern construction
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.
A diagram of the Floretyle system.(Source: Truscon Steel Company, Truscon Floretyle Construction, 1923)
A photo from the Truscon Floretyle pamphlet shows a typical installation in progress. (Source: Truscon Steel Company, Truscon Floretyle Construction, 1923)