Cee 249 Special Seminar 1

Seismic Retrofit of a Historical High Rise – From Design to Construction

The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company headquarters (140
New Montgomery) opened in 1926, becoming the tallest building in San Francisco
upon completion. Designed by Timothy Pflueger, featuring a hand-painted lobby
ceiling by Mark Goodman and six acres of terra cotta façade, the building was
an achievement of architecture and construction and remains an emblem of the
Art Deco movement. The building’s current owner decided to embark on a
challenging endeavor of reviving the historic structure while maintaining
Pflueger’s original design intent.

    This paper will outline the goals of this
retrofit: from preservation of historic fabric to creation of open flexible
space, all while providing a safe structure in this unforgiving seismic
environment. It will discuss the strengthening schemes evaluated and challenges
faced during design and construction. It will present details on the non-linear
analysis method which followed ASCE41-06. Extensive analysis of the existing
structure was done to better determine its inherent capacity and allowed the
engineer to better understand how the new and existing systems behave together.
Finally, this presentation will be given by a young engineer, who was involved
from schematic to construction.

    Sharing learning experience and challenges
that young engineers face with historic structures is imperative to proper
development and education. The next generation must acknowledge the
significance of keeping these landmark buildings close to their original design
while lending them a strong efficient system. With advancing structural
analysis, historic buildings no longer need to be viewed as obsolete buildings,
but strong beacons of possibility in the marriage of preservation and

130 Sutter Street Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94104

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