Landmarks in American Civil Engineering

Landmarks in American Civil Engineering

Book - 1987
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Baker & Taylor
Shows and describes the history of innovative American canals, roads, railroads, bridges, tunnels, waterworks, dams, airports, and power systems

MIT Press
Honorable Mention, Abel Wolman award given by the Public Works Historical Society and American Public Works Association, 1987.

The Brooklyn Bridge and the Erie Canal are well-known feats of American civil engineering. The building of the Transcontinental Railroad is another remarkable accomplishment, symbolizing the unique role that civil engineers have played in the growth and development of the United States. Yet this extensive survey reveals that there are countless other landmarks of regional or local importance that deserve our attention.

The Starrucca Viaduct in Pennsylvania, carrier of the early New York and Erie Railroad, is an example. It is one of the country's most beautiful structures, a landmark that, like the others this book describes and illustrates, the visible heritage of the civil engineering profession in America.

Landmarks in American Civil Engineering describes approximately a hundred projects that have been designated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks - canals, roads, railroads, bridges, tunnels, water supply and control systems, dams, buildings, planned cities and parks, power systems, surveying projects, coastal facilities, and airports. Featured in over 250 illustrations, all of these either still exist or have traces remaining; a map provides a useful guide for the general location of each one. There is no other comprehensive survey of engineering landmarks that spans so many years, project types, and geographic areas.

The landmarks are discussed in the context of the civil engineer's role and responsibilities in our society. In case after case, Schodek demonstrates that the physical artifact represented a community aspiration or need and that the engineer's role was to meet that need in a tangible work that became a point of order in nature, a proof of man's dominion. The projects range from early examples where persons from many different backgrounds filled the role of civil engineer to later ones where the civil engineer is a trained individual with a clear professional identity. Although they are landmarks for different reasons - some represent the first work of their kind or the first successful trial of a new technology on a significant scale; others set a standard for size, capacity, efficiency, or construction expediency in their time; still others entailed techniques of assembly, construction, financing, or political cooperation; or stand as records of perseverance over natural obstacles - most made a significant contribution to the development of a region or the nation.

Daniel L. Schodek is Professor of Architectural Technology at Harvard University. In the course of collecting material on this subject he has visited nearly all of the projects, and has consulted original plans, where these exist, and engineering records, particularly those in the archives of the American Society of Civil Engineers

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1987.
ISBN: 9780262192569
Branch Call Number: Q 624.0973 SCH
Characteristics: xviii, 383 p. : ill. ; 31 cm.


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