Class Notes, December 6, 2012

  We began at the trestle bridge over Fall creek near the Wildflower garden and the Plantations. The metal X’s and angled  I-beams, above the metal roadway hold up the cross beams that supports the road. We sketched it and it’s structural components safely from the grass by the river. No one fell in.
    Next we drove past the lovely stone bridge over Fall Creek by Beebe Lake. We parked on Thurston Ave., a couple blocks down and walked towards the North end of the Suspension Bridge. Right before the bridge we marvelled at an elegant  little stone arch over a small stream. At the Suspension bridge we examined the enormous concrete ” dead-man ” into which are fastened the huge turnbuckles that hold the main cables. We saw how the main cables went up over the tall metal tower sweeping down to walkway level in the middle and then back up over the other metal tower on the other side of the dramatic gorge and back down into the turnbuckles fasted to the huge concrete “dead-man” embedded into the cliff on the south side of the span. From these main cables secondary vertical cables were suspended supporting U-shape I-beams on which the walkway was laid. We drew these basic sructural components. We noted the block building down  by the waterfall in the gorge Larry George had mentioned Cornell having some water-powered generators and I pointed out that the generators were in that building. I took a class in there 25 years ago.
   We next looked across the wide emptiness created by centuries of churning water and saw the Stewart Ave. Bridge. It too was a flat roadway supported by triangular trusses but the support system was UNDER the bridge . We sketched that bridge’s structure.
   We mounted the stairs and came out near the Johnson Art Museum . We turned left heading east along the river until we came up to the startling, large, cantilevered wing of the Architecture School thrust across the road in front of us. We sat in one little patch of grass and attempted to draw the daring and challenging perspective of this bold design. Each and every child could not initially bring themselves to draw (and perhaps did not initially perceive) the dramatic difference between the leading edge and rear edge of the structure’s side wall. Once I showed each of them on their drawing they were suddenly able to see it. It was very interesting.
   Next we walked across the heavily-travelled, innovative new, metal-arched bridge across the gorge by Noyes Lodge. We circled down around behind the lodge along Beebe Lake so we could view the structural make-up of this unusual bridge design. There were two huge pairs of metal arches, embedded in the cliffs, one below the roadway and one arching above it, with vertical metal support beams suspended down from the top arch and supporting the cross beams that held the roadway. After attempting to draw the unique structure of this leading-edge bridge design, and being inordinately distracted bythe suddenly heavy traffic of college students, we decided that that was enough work.
    We then went over to a little park on the north shore of Beebe Lake and played Foxes and Squirrels, a game using trees and subtle glances to try and outsmart or outrun the fox. Then we drove back to the FOL just in time to play our recorder song and say goodbye.
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