By Ronald Ahrens
A USA Today insert in my Feb. 6 edition of the Desert Sun newspaper carried this story about the new tower under construction in Los Angeles. The news will be of interest to the concrete enthusiasts among our readers.
The report on the 1100-foot Wilshire Grand project describes how the the foundation slab will be laid on Feb. 15: “The project will attempt to set a Guinness World Record with the largest continuous concrete pour ever… More than 2,100 truckloads will deliver 21,200 cubic yards of concrete weighing 82 million pounds.”
A typical Tillotson elevator–for example, Albert City, Iowa–needed 2091 cubic yards of reinforced concrete. That’s just under one percent of what’s going into the 100-foot-deep hole on Wilshire Boulevard. I’m trying (without success) to picture 100 grain elevators compressed in there.
The USC band will precede the first truck to the site. It is not recorded that any band ever marched to the opening of an elevator job.
Nor is it believed a swimming pool topped any elevator, as will be the case at Wilshire Grand.
Technical complications will arise during the pour, and a quite amazing means of addressing them has been devised, as you will read in the story.
I mentioned all this to Uncle Chuck Tillotson and shared the clipping with him. He said that my grandfather Reginald had foreseen for Tillotson Construction Company a commercial future beyond elevator construction.
Applying their expertise with concrete in different applications would only have been natural, but it’s doubtful he foresaw anything quite this big.
And I’m sure he didn’t think about anyone taking a dip while 1100 feet above the city.