I remember purchasing my first computer back in 1991--a Dell. I had to open it up to add a card that was the modem. I still remember the label on the plastic bag that held the card, which read "Do Not Touch." I called technical support to ask how I was supposed to install the card if I could not touch it. I was advised to touch a piece of metal before I touched the card. Ah, I needed to discharge any static electricity.
These days I rarely open up my "trash can" Mac. Except for the truly geeky, nobody adds cards to computers anymore. Nevertheless, I remember the green board and silver lines, with little raised circles in what what appeared to be a randomize pattern.
Visiting the construction site for the Vista Tower today, all could I think of was those circuit boards when I saw the rebar grid waiting for the layer of cement that would make the rebar invisible for the next several hundred years. According to one source, that cement must be poured within 90 minutes of being loaded into the truck's rotating barrel.
One tower now juts some 40 or so stories in the air. I thought that it would grow to the announced 93 stories, but in reviewing the project more closely, I realized Vista Tower will comprise three connected towers. The currently visible one will max out at 71 stories. This image shows part of the basement for the 93-story tower that will be located to the west of the 71-story tower.
When I look into the pit, I realize just how much responsibility the construction crew bears. I am sure architects and engineers inspect the green grid, but from my vantage point, it looks like much is left to knowledge and experience of those workers in placing the rebar. I assume placement is a very precise operation, but when I saw a white bucket with the Ace Hardware logo on it, I wondered a bit. Do they stop at Home Depot to pick up the supplies each morning?
I like monitoring the construction sites downtown. The workers have been through this dance many times before. They just seem to know what to do, which is pretty amazing.
Incoming: Vista Tower West Tower
Another construction site sits about ten blocks west on the same side of the Chicago River. It is the second of three apartment towers that will overlook the fork in the river at Wolf Point Landing. Pictured below is the first floor that rises above the pipe system I photographed about six weeks ago. I love the the yellow gridding, together with the linoleum boards. The rebar will be placed on top the boards, creating the tension necessary to keep the cement floors from sagging. The system works much like a trampoline. At the same time that the rebar is laid, the conduit for the electrical system will be installed.
When the concrete sets, the yellow forms and linoleum boards will be removed, and then will be temporarily reinstalled on the new concrete, as the leapfrog action continues to pull the structure upward to completion.
Constructing the Basement Ceiling for Wolf Point East, One of Three Glass Towers on the Site