From an engineering point of view, moving a multi-ton building is relatively easy today.
In the last century, technologies have improved, the machines responsible for transportation have become more powerful and the methods vary, from the installation of helium balloons to rails such as those of trains or ropes.
Structures of all kinds have been moved: old Victorian homes, apartment buildings, schools, factories, even entire bus stops.
But in the 1930s, movements of this kind posed a formidable challenge.
In case Indiana Bell Telephone Company headquartersin Indianapolis, USA, what was done is a bit more complicated: the building pivoted 90 degrees horizontally.
The building has eight floors and weighs 11,000 tons.
The amazing thing is that this process Carried out while employees were still working inside from the building.
Every morning while work was going on, the company’s 600 workers walked in and out through a door that wasn’t even in the same place it had been the day before.
A movable wooden platform allowed employees and the public to enter and exit the building at any time while the relocation was in progress.
Cables and tubes have been lengthened to make this possible There was no interruption to telephone service, gas service, heating or sewage.
The process was done in just over four weeks with meticulous precision and gave the Indiana Bell Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T, the long-awaited territory for its headquarters expansion.
In 1929, the company’s directors realized that the space they had on North Meridian Street was becoming too small, so they considered demolishing the old building, built in 1907, to build a larger structure.
However, as a phone company, The headquarters provided an essential service to the city And separating it was not possible.
was the approved solution Move the old structure to the rear parcel For the construction of the new building on the vacant lot.
Transportation began in October 1930 with the help of a dozen hand hydraulic winches and a steam engine.
Newspapers wrote at the time, “The agreed plan is to move the original eight-storey building from its present corner location to the rear of the property.”
The company’s board of directors announced that the project “cleared an area of 60 by 30 meters on which the new building will be built.”
over the next four weeks, The huge brick and steel building It moved an inch 16 meters south, turned 90 degrees, and then moved west again 30 meters.
The company did not lose a single business day He did not stop his service throughout the period.
If the photos of October 25 show the front, in the photos of November 8 you can already see the side and cables that made movement possible, At that time the block was inches from reaching its destination.
The building lasted 33 years in its new location, until It was demolished to make way for another new extension from headquarters.
Basically, there are two ways to move buildings: Dismantling the building and rebuilding it in the new location or moving the entire building Preserving the structure,” Irene Rodriguez, chief engineer at British company Mace Group, explains to BBC Mundo.
The operation is chosen based on many factors. the traveled distance “It is one of the most important,” he added.
In addition, explains the expert, there are differences depending Building type.
“Moving a building with it is not the same thing Bearing walls for steel structuresBecause in this process temporary reinforcements in the structure will be necessary to avoid collapse during transportation.
The most common thing today is for companies to go to Specialized engineering companies in these types of projects.
And so it was also done in 1930.
Evolution and movement of the ancient Construction presents some very interesting problemsespecially since the change must take place without interruption of service,” he acknowledged the company’s advice.
“The project is by no means an experiment. The contracting company that will perform this work has an enviable track record To successfully deal with the most complex movement problems.
The plan was not adopted until after a long and careful study of the safety and economics of this step.
“It is interesting to note that it has been proven with certainty that the strength of the building will not be diminished at any time during the work, and that During the movement the foundations will be very strong As at any other time,” the managers explained.
With the move completed in December 1930 and the new building ready for occupancy in late 1932, Indiana Bell moved into a modern and well-known headquarters in skyline from the city.
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