Decades in the making, The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) officially opened its doors to the public on September 24, 2016. Contained inside are over 36,000 artifacts that document and promote the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history and is “the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture,” according to the museum’s website.
After being officially authorized for construction in 2003 by President George W. Bush, the NMAAHC did not officially break ground until 2012. Designed by the team of Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smithgroup, the 322,600 square feet building was built by a combination of Clark Construction Group, Smoot Construction and H.J. Russell and Company. Both Smoot and H.J. Russell are minority owned businesses and two of the largest in the country. Together, the trio the common goal of completing the $250 million dollar museum. According to the NMAAHC’s Project website, there were several small business participation goals the team had to meet:
- Small Business (SB) Contract Goal - 42%
- Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Contract Goal - 22%
- Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Contract Goal - 10%
- Historically Underutilized Business (HUBZone) Contract Goal - 10%
- Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) Contract Goal - 5%
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Contract Goal - 5%
The foundation for the museum was dug 80 feet below grade and 70 feet of that is the lower part of the building. Of the museum’s 10 total stories, 5 are below ground and 5 are above. Concrete was first poured for the foundations in November of 2012. After roughly 4 years of construction, the building is finally complete and open to the public, standing tall in the heart of the National Mall in Washington D.C. Lucky for us, we can watch the entire construction process of the building from start to finish via EarthCam’s timelapse video uploaded to Youtube.
If you’re curious to know more about the process behind getting the museum fully approved and its cultural significance, CBS Sunday Morning put together a great piece that you can watch below. CBS SM’s Lee Cowan interviews music legend Quincy Jones and discusses the history of some of the most important artifacts in the museum. It’s truly a fascinating story and highlights some of the major struggles African Americans had to overcome in America.
Standing 821 feet (250m) in the New York City skyline, the new 57-story residential tower, called 56 Leonard Street, has opened its doors to residents. The 145 condos that inhabit the high rise range in size from 1,418 square feet to 6,400 square feet and in price from $3.5 million to $50 million. Amazingly, even with those staggering prices, the developer told the New York Times that 92% of the units had sold in 2013, even though the tower officially opened last year.
Traffic in Atlanta sucks, there’s really no other way to say it. So imagine the tough position commuters and city officials were put in when a bridge of a major highway on the north side of the city caught fire on March 20, 2017 and was damaged beyond repair. 243,000 motorists were forced to find alternate routes to work for the estimated 3 months that it was going to take to rebuild it. Now, imagine how thrilled they were when the highway opened back up one month ahead of schedule.
Atlanta, GA has been busy recently updated their major sports facilities. The new Atlanta Falcon’s new $1.4 Billion football stadium just recently celebrated a milestone as contractors installed the final roof beam. That stadium is scheduled to open before the start of the 2017 NFL season. Before that, however, the Atlanta Braves’ new baseball stadium will officially open in time to kick off the MLB season, which starts on April 2nd.
The NFL is a cash cow and nothing makes that more evident than the soaring costs to build the newest NFL stadiums. The past four stadiums to open were the Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium (watch timelapse here), the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, the New York Jets/Giants’ MetLife Stadium, and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. All four surpassed $1 Billion in construction cost. The first stadium to open after the Millennium was the Cincinnati Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium, which only cost a miniscule (relatively) $455 million ($626 million in 2016 dollars) to build. The oldest stadium still in use by any NFL team is the Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum, which was completed in 1966 and cost $25.5 million ($186 million in 2016 dollars). That stadium also spent $200 million ($302 million in 2016 dollars) in renovations in 1995 and 1996. As you can see, dollars spent on NFL stadiums have increased significantly in the past few decades and there’s no end in sight.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
Yesterday marked the 15 Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001. The attacks left a noticeable hole in the New York skyline for several years after the Twin Towers collapsed, but that hole has since been filled with a new and symbolic tower, the One World Trade Center.
Why do the athletes get to have all of the fun during the Olympics? We construction workers deserve a little bit of the action, too! In order for American swimmers to be chosen to represent Team USA in the Olympics, they must first qualify at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which were held in Omaha, Nebraska this year.
Not all construction sites are that impressive to look at, but that’s certainly not the case on many jobsites in the skyscraper ridden city of Chicago. Tight sites like the one in the video offer plenty of new challenges with regards to deliveries, storage, and a plethora of other items, so it’s always interesting to see how companies successfully complete jobs like those.
You’ve probably seen an excavator most days of your life, especially if you work in construction, but, unless you work in the mining industry you’ll never see something as big as the Liebherr R 9800, a roughly 800 ton excavator. Standing at 36’3” high, 28’9” wide, and 83’0” long, this mega machine can load 75-93 tons of material per pass.