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Underpinning - 1930 style

Underpinning - 1930 style

(OP)
Just came across these two photos of a church project where the street had to be lowered about 10 feet or so - right next to an existing brick church.
They simply dug down and extended the foundation walls lower to accommodate the lower grades.



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RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Which one is you in the photo, JAE? I'm guessing the fellow in the bow tie. The dandy sitting on the ladder is probably the contractor.

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Is it still there today? It would be good to see a modern photo.

Are people here familiar with the epic underpinning task done on Winchester Cathedral at the start of the 20th Century?

A.

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Zeusfaber,
In the 1960's I did some work on a new hotel being built about a 100yards from that Cathedral, The soil there was just yellow gravel with a water table of about one foot.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

(OP)
Here's a modern day street-view of the same elevation:
(I'm not in the shot with the workman - off taking a pee break)

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RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Wow. It's always fun looking at old churches trying to work out what order they happened in. That one would be a real head-scratcher.

A.

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Where exactly is this church located?

It would also be interesting to know if the addition to the church (on the Left) was done at the time of the 'underpinning' since it would appear that since the street was being lowered by MUCH more than "10 feet or so" that it would appears to have been the side where the main entry was located, with what I would assume was a set of steps down to what was then the street level, which is now an emergency exit. In the more recent picture showing the addition, you can see what could be the new main entrance. Of course that would also mean that unless there was some extreme reworking of the interior, that if this building is still being used as a church, that the parishioners must have to climb some significant stairs inside the building to get to the nave. Granted, they could have re-purposed the backside of the building with an entrance if the grade does rise on the backside to the level where it might have historically been before the removal of the soil around what appears to have been the side and front of the original church plot.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

(OP)
This is in Omaha, Nebraska.
Here's a brief history description of the street lowering:

The grade of Dodge Street past Central High School was lowered
from 12% to 7%. The work stopped traffic for more than a year
until it was completed. The new construction left the school on a
sheer cliff with a 20-foot drop. Later, new terraces and flights of
stairs restored the campus to its current appearance. Farther east,
St. Mary Magdalene parish had to build a new first story under the
church when the city lowered the Dodge Street hill at 19th Street.
When the street lowering project was completed this year, Dodge
Street near 20th Street was 36 feet lower than it was in 1880.


Here's a couple other shots - JohnRBaker it looks like you are correct that the small addition on the left was done at the same time as a lowering:


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RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Here is an interesting side note in engineering history and the Durham Museum (mentioned in the photos above). Chuck Durham was a civil engineer and philanthropist in Omaha. He is the "D" in HDR, Inc.

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Here's a photo of what the interior of St. Mary Magdalene church in Omaha looks like today...



From what JAE posted and some other stuff that I found online, what you see as a 'mezzanine' around the nave is actually the old street level. They basically left a portion of the original floor of the church in place but cut out the middle and lowered it to the new street level. Locally it's know as "the church that was built DOWN".

My wife and I are going to be in Nebraska next summer to view (and photograph) the Solar eclipse on August 21st (we already have hotel reservations in York, Nebraska, about 100 miles West of Omaha). Since we'll be coming from Michigan to York, we'll be passing though Omaha on Sunday (the eclipse is on Monday) so we might just stop and attend Mass at St. Mary Magdalene's and see this engineering marvel. And yes, I'll be sure to get lots of pictures.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

(OP)
Just a couple of interior (attic) photos from the top roof area. Nice old wood framing.




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RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Great photos JAE... notice some areas of water penetration. This should be looked into to avoid brown rot (aka dry-rot). It would be a shame to loose such a nice framed building.

Dik

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

The lowering of the streets also left City Hall standing way above the street. If I remember the photos I saw, it was in the middle of the block, so they didn't have to excavate close to the building. The soil is loess, underlain by glacial till. The loess is noted for standing well in vertical excavations.

Mr. Baker, If you spend a little time in Omaha, Henry Doorly Zoo is a world-class zoo worth seeing. And be sure to eat a steak; ask the locals where the best place is.

RE: Underpinning - 1930 style

Being that I currently live in SoCal and am originally from the Mid-West, WHENEVER I'm back in that part of the country, I ALWAYS try and find a good steak place. Here in SoCal, unless you go to some overpriced place like Morton's or Ruth Chris, you can't find a steak that has been properly aged. Out here they think everything has to eaten fresh, and while I don't mind the sentiment when it comes to seafood or poultry, I want my beef with a little 'fuzz' on it (I worked three years at a meat market while in high school back in Michigan so I know of what I speak).

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

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