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HI Artography - Rooftop Water Tower


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I wonder if the masonry is just a wrap around additional steel structure.

No sir, if you look close you'll see that the tower bears on "I" beams that cross over the four corners of the building. The beams are kept very short to avoid deflection (bounce) from all that weight. It's solid masonry - perhaps the elevator shaft? But the steel bracing around the bottom of the tower legs, prevent them from spreading and make the tower merely dead weight on the masonry. This is the kind of stuff I used to detail back in my steel days.

It's the same kind of setup you'll see bearing cooling towers and large condensing units up on roofs.

8.35 lbs per gallon is correct for water. 7.7 lbs has been in my head for about two decades and is apparently wrong. Heaven only knows when or how it got in there. Thanks for the correction.

So, just for fun - scaling off that window (assuming it's maybe 2' - 8" wide), the radius of the tower is maybe eight feet and the height is about eleven feet. The volume of that cylinder is approximately 2,350 cubic feet. Water weighs in at about 62.42 lbs per cubic foot. So, the tank contains about 146,687 lbs or roughly 73.3 tons of water. The tank and tower probably weigh in at another 2 - 4 tons. Seventy-six tons total maybe.

Here's the real eye opener - in a perfect world, a single brick can support the entire weight of the full tower (6700 - 8800 psi). It's a mistake to think brick is fragile, once it's installed.

OK, back to art - my bad. [:-spin]

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Thanks all. I took this a few years ago, or so, and finally took some time to clean up the photo.

The tower was probably empty but I don't know. It was beyond the scope of my inspection. The roof over the control room beneath (which was filled with all this Frankenstein gadgetry) was leaking badly and caving in as I recall. It would have been fun to go in but I needed a ladder which I didn't have with me.

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