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The Thirteenth Floor

Created by bucknallbabe

Fun Trivia : Quizzes : Architecture
The Thirteenth Floor game quiz
"Or how to build a skyscraper in 10 easy steps."

15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit  

1. Step 1. Decide to build high.
It is generally agreed that the first "skyscrapers" were built in Chicago and New York in the late 19th century.

Which of these was NOT one of the factors contributing to their early development?
    Desire of managers and clerks to be in city centres
    Rise in land values in city centres
    Constraints on outward growth of business districts
    The availability of new building technologies

2. Step 2. Find some land.
In the later part of the 19th century, Chicago and New York saw the rise of centralised districts where business, financial and legal transactions took place. In both cities, the districts could not expand outwards. In New York, the business district grew up on the island of Manhattan, which limited its extent.

Which of the following features was a major constraint in Chicago?
    Railway tracks
    Grain storage

3. Step 3. Dig the foundations.
Up to the middle of the 19th century, the traditional method of supporting large structures was to drive clusters of log piles into the ground. For skyscraper construction, alternatives were developed, such as "pyramidal piers", "floating rafts" and "caissons".

What was a caisson?
    Layers of concrete
    Metal cylinder filled with concrete
    Grid of iron rails set in concrete
    Log piles topped off with a layer of concrete

4. Step 4. Get the materials together.
Any large building places huge demands on suppliers of materials. The Empire State Building needed 76,000 tons of steel girders, which were put into cars and delivered to the point of use, minimising loading and unloading times.

Which innovative technology was used to achieve this?
    Narrow gauge railway tracks

5. Step 5. Build the frame.
The internal skeleton of a a skyscraper is a metal frame of interlocking columns and girders to which the floors and internal walls are attached.

Which advantage of metal frame construction contributed most to increasing the height of buildings?
    Metal frames cannot buckle in fires
    Metal was more readily available than masonry
    Metal frames are easier to construct
    Metal frames bear the load

6. Step 6. Build the skin.
Which of these features was an immediate, visible effect of the masonry being used for cladding rather than supporting tall buildings? It also contributed to skyscrapers' profitability.
    More decorative facades
    More colourful buildings
    Greater variety of materials used for cladding
    Greater percentage of glass windows

7. Step 7. Install the lifts/elevators.

Elisha Otis invented the lift or elevator in 1853.

8. Step 8. Stop building.
As technologies and working methods improved, it became clear that buildings could reach previously unimaginable heights. In 1915, the 38-storey Equitable Building on Broadway caused controversy about the size of the shadow it made and there were fears that Manhattan would turn into an area of dark, gloomy streets.

Consequently, in 1916, New York City introduced a zoning ordinance, which aimed to prevent this in future by relating heights of tall structures to which of these features?
    Area of the lot
    Number of storeys
    Width of the street
    Volume of the structure

9. Step 9. Get the people in.
A typical skyscraper office block may hold 10,000 people or more, and keeping their working conditions agreeable has always been a challenge. The introduction of air conditioning led to many changes in skyscraper design.

Which building is generally considered to have been the USA's first fully air-conditioned building?
    Empire State Building, New York
    Milam Building, San Antonio
    Sears Tower, Chicago
    Equitable Life Building, New York

10. Step 10. Remove the thirteenth floor.
Having struggled long and hard to build structures of more than twelve storeys, one of the first things to be done was to bow to superstition and make it appear that there was no thirteenth floor. Various fictions, such as naming it 12A, 12B, 14 or M after the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, have been adopted. Other cultures are superstitious about different numbers.

In which country are you unlikely to find a fourth floor?

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Compiled Jun 28 12