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Updating the Woolworth Building in New York

In a recent interview with one of our New Jersey representatives – Matthew Walker – we discussed his work on the famous Woolworth Building in New York City.

The Woolworth Building – much like other older buildings in New York – have terracotta or cider block substrates, which can make for a difficult overhead anchoring situation. Matt echoed this when he said, “the engineers were very sketchy about how much they could hang off it or if they could hang at all.” He continued by stating that, he had a number of customers reach out to him with a request asking for a solution to hang off of that substrate instead of chipping away at the structure.

Since the Woolworth Building is such a historical building in the New York City area, no one wanted to mess with the buildings structure. Another issue the subcontractor was facing dealt with the engineer’s suggestion of anchor was not the best solution.

With Matts experience he was asked out to the jobsite where he assessed the substrate, offered his opinion and then conducted a pull test to support his opinion. As Matt says, “for a lack of better words we partnered with the customer to submit an anchor to the engineer – with the support of the suggestion – giving the engineer the comfort to sign off on it as an equivalent to the anchor they had suggested and when we got it approved.”

The solution Matt suggested – an umbrella anchor paired with epoxy. To better understand how umbrella anchors perform in terracotta or cider block, check out the solution to anchoring in terracotta.

When asked about how he felt that his suggestion was chosen Matt was more excited to have the job completed than he be considered the winner. “When we come out, we are in the best interest of the customers, but also the best interest of everyone on the jobsite – and the support of the engineer. Because at the end of the day we all want it to pass; we all want it to work.”

As the interview was wrapping up, Matt had a moment to reflect on his work on the building. Being a native to the New York/New Jersey area he had an extra set of pride that his name could be associated with that building forever.  He mentioned, “we can drive by with our grandkids or our kids and say hey I worked on that building.”

In the end, the historic Woolworth Building kept its charm with a solution that helped to regenerate the building using the existing substrate. And as Matt so nicely put it, “looking back on it we saved the customer a lot of time and money – and that’s always our goal.”

Want to Know More

If you want to know more about Allfasteners onsite capabilities or how we can assist you with your problem, contact one of our representatives by calling your local AF location or by sending us an email from our contact us page.