In my opinion as it is with everything: If it is not done right it doesn't
matter what constructions are made of. They will fail.
I have a German background and most of the office buildings or skycrapers there
are made out of poured concrete and not steel construction as is done a lot in
the US. And it is all still standing.
In the case of the Cologne city archives. They are building a tunnel for the
underground train system underneath it right now and it has already caused
trouble with a lot of other buildings above that tunnel. One church tower
started to lean more than 70 centimeters. Cologne is a city that is around 2000
years old and who knows what was between the basement of the archives and the
tunnel that made the building collapse. I think the company who builds the
tunnel hasn't done their homework.
Therefore I wouldn't condemn concrete structures in general without knowing what
it is really going on.
One could make the assumption that a lot more people would have gotten out of
the World Trade Center Towers if they would have been made out of poured
concrete instead of steel.
I am not an engineer but as far as I know concrete would have withstood the heat
much better than the steel construction.
Quoting Dave Lewis <[log in to unmask]>:
> Thanks for the update; the last time we discussed it -- admittedly a long
> time ago -- I recall that much of the collection was inaccessible as it was
> discovered that "the records are hurting the building." Also I recall that at
> one point you were on a higher floor, but I may be mis-remembering. Sorry for
> renaming your facility, though from the revamped BGSU website it does appear
> that there has been some subtle redistribution of designations I wasn't aware
> of -- makes me wonder if the citation of BGSU in my Rodeheaver ARSC article
> is correct.
> Of course, in order to access the 78 collection I guess I'd have to make
> arrangements to meet with you, or with a staffer, in Perrysburg; closer to me
> ironically, but not as convenient for you.
> Some more details about the Cologne archive are coming to light; the building
> may have been undermined by the digging of a tunnel nearby, and two of the
> three victims found were people who lived in adjoining buildings that were
> taken down by the impact of the collapse.
> Poured concrete was very popular in the 1970s for university buildings
> because they looked modern, and were cheap. There are problems, though, in
> that they are very heavy and sometimes the ground on which they are built is
> not strong enough to hold the building up -- that's the problem with the
> tower at the University of Cincinnati. Likewise the internal mesh of rebar
> and reinforcement has proven faulty in some cases; we saw that in the failure
> of part of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1989. With all the
> problems recorded sound archivists have right now, it may seem a minor issue
> that the buildings that some of us are in might ultimately destroy our
> collections, and even kill us. But I'm suggesting that it should not be
> regarded as a minor concern, and that's why I brought it up here.
> I chose the title Einstürzende Neubauten for the thread given the irony of
> its meaning and the fact that the Cologne Archive was in Germany. And yes, I
> do have a unique recording of them -- a 1986 or '87 tape of a very irritated
> Blixa Bargeld doing an ID for my "Art Damage" radio program on WAIF-FM. He
> never did get the copy right, so we didn't use it. I have owned, and in some
> cases still own, many of the records mentioned in this thread.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Ann Arbor, MI
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bill Schurk
> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 6:26 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Einstürzende Neubauten
> Contrary to what Dave Lewis says, the Music Library and Sound Recordings
> Archives, located in the William T. Jerome Library, in Bowling Green Ohio,
> still is located on the third floor of that building and has since its
> inception in 1967. I have been the Sound Recordings Archivist there for all
> of those years. The Center for Popular Music is located at Middle
> Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. but it is in no way
> associated with us here at BGSU. We have our main collection on the third
> floor, the uncataloged LP's, all of the 45's, and our huge biography and
> portrait files located on the first floor, and the 78-rpm collection, the
> tape archives, and transcription discs are located in our remote storage
> building ( the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository) about 15 miles north
> of campus in Perrysburg. The depository which we use is one of a number that
> are operated in the state of Ohio and we share ours with University of Toledo
> and the Medical College of Ohio.
> Till the vinyl is finyl.
> Bill Schurk, Professor
> Sound Recordings Archivist
> William T. Jerome Library
> Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives
> Bowling Green
> State University
> Bowling Green,
> OH 43403-0170
> Phone 419.372.2308
> Fax 419.372.2499
> [log in to unmask]
> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, Dave Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Dave Lewis <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Einstürzende Neubauten
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 2:23 PM
> The sub-standard building practices of the 1970s are coming back to haunt us,
> and unfortunately a fair number of such structures are used to house archival
> materials, as this one was.
> While I'm not Bill Schurk, and apologize for sticking my neck out in
> speaking out about what is not my problem, a few years ago the Center for
> Popular Music at BGSU was moved out of its 1970s poured concrete building --
> where the materials were organized and well cared for -- and placed in deep
> storage elsewhere on campus. Last I heard it was inaccessible. There is
> poured concrete structure at the University of Cincinnati -- thankfully one
> does not hold an archive -- that will need to be torn down at some point, as
> is both sinking and tipping over.
> Of course, none of us in the 1970s knew that the poured concrete fad would
> primarily result in buildings that would turn out to be non-functional in the
> long term. As this story unfolds, the effect on archives of all kinds --
> including sound recordings -- will be better known. If your archive is in a
> 1970s university building, you might need to develop a good "Plan B"
> in order to avoid the fate of the Center for Popular Music. And if that
> has reopened, I sure would like to know about it.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Ann Arbor, MI