Illumination of The Engineering Societies Building, New York

Jul 01, 1907

The Engineering Societies Building, as is generally known, was a gift of Mr. Andrew Carnegie to three of the four large engineering societies, namely, The American Institute of Electrical Engineers, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and The American Institute of Mining Engineers. Although invited to join the three societies above named in the ownership and occupation of this building, The American Society of Civil Engineers, by a vote of its members, decided not to accept the invitation. The land on which the building was erected was purchased jointly by the three societies. The building is located on Thirty-ninth street, New York City, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and connects with the property of the Engineers' Club, which was erected at the same time, although owned by an entirely distinct and separate organization.

The building consists of a basement and thirteen stories, and a part (mezzanine) or fourteenth story. The building is a fireproof structure throughout, with terra cotta arches and partitions. The floors, with few exceptions, are of concrete, tile, or mosaic. The flooring in the library, main auditorium and lecture rooms, however, is of wood. The basement is occupied in part by the boiler room, pump, ventilating and other machinery and storage places. Space has been reserved for an isolated plant, so that one may be installed at any future time, if it is decided advisable to do so and if money be available for that purpose. At the present time, the current supply is derived from the mains of the New York Edison Company. On the first floor are located the entrance hall, writing room, administration offices, reception room, smoking room, corridors, etc. The second floor is occupied by the main auditorium which has a seating capacity of about 1000 persons. The fifth and sixth floors are used for assembly and lecture rooms. The seventh to eleventh floors, inclusive, are used as office floors, three of these floors being used by the three founder societies. The twelfth floor is used as a stack room for the library, which is located on the thirteenth floor.

With this brief description of the building and its uses, we will proceed to briefly outline a few of the more novel and interesting features of illumination designed by the writer for this building.

C. E. Knox
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)

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