# Lemessurier pronounced la measure in the early 1970s

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Unformatted text preview: J. LeMessurier (pronounced "La Measure") in the early 1970s. Making room for the St. Peter's church was a difficult problem, but LeMessurier was a highly capable and creative engineer. His design called for the building to sit atop nine-storyengineer. tall stilts, one centered on each side with a specific geometry in tall the structure's framing to take maximum advantage of the oddly placed support columns. It also had a single, narrower column in the center which housed the building's elevator banks and provided additional strength to the framing. This design made room for the church under the building's northwest corner, and gave the giant structure a graceful, almost levitating effect. gave LeMessurier first became aware of the building's weakness in 1978, about LeMessurier a year after its completion. An engineering student contacted him to ask some technical questions about the design, which he was delighted to address. The student's professor had expressed doubts regarding the strength of a stilted skyscraper where the support columns were not on the corners. "Listen, I want you to tell your teacher that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about," LeMessurier told the student, "because he doesn't know the problem that had to be solved." He went on to explain how the building's framing geometry worked perfectly with the stilts in such positions, allowing it to withstand very forceful winds, even from a diagonal angle. from But the conversation got him thinking, and he started doing some But calculations on just how much diagonal wind the structure could withstand. He was particularly interested in the effects of an engineering change made during construction which had seemed caring at the time: numerous joints were secured with bolts rather than welds. Normally such a change was acceptable, but the Citicorp Center's design was unusually sensitive to diagonal winds, which t...
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