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1928 Drawings

November 8, 2020

Our phone expert friend, Stephen, was emailing us some information about the door in the basement that is labeled “Operators Quarters”. He thinks it would have separated the lady operator’s support suite- restroom, locker room, etc.- from the operating rooms. There are a couple places on the first floor that have empty door frames that could have been where that door came from. He mentioned that he was looking for existing plans on this site and couldn’t find them. We’ve referenced the blueprints we found, a few times, but we hadn’t posted the set. What we have is from the BAB’s last addition, in 1928. The building was modified in a few places by subsequent owners, but this is pretty close to how it looked when we first saw it.

Tom did this diagram to show when and where the additions were completed, with some redlines that show updated information.

Finding the rolled up blueprints- the old blue with white lines kind- has been exceedingly helpful in mapping the building systems.

They are delicate but in good condition.

When we were looking to install our apartment plumbing drains, Joe the plumber was able to scope out an abandoned sewer line that we could reuse, saving us a bunch of money.

The drawings are also cool. They were hand drafted, of course, with IR Timlin’s signature in the title block. If you want to know more about Irvin Ray, type Timlin in the Search box. We’ve found a bunch of information about him and his Bell career. The rolled up drawings are stored in the Kodak Room for now, but we’ll figure out a way to display them some day.

When Architects and Engineers drafted Construction Documents, pre-computer, the lettering was supposed to be the same across the office, no matter who did it. That was done to keep the documents looking consistent. This lettering is much more stylized than what I was taught- the double slash on the H and A’s, the slight angle and the curl at the end of some letters. I don’t think Timlin would have drawn these but he did sign them as the Approved Architect. The sets of initials next to his signature, CG, JS and VO, could have been the drafters, or possibly the engineers. The flourishes on the VO make me think that he might have been the one that did the lettering.
Basement floor plan plus some details. This is how we located the abandoned plumbing stack that we connected to for the apartment construction.
First floor- showing both operators spaces and equipment. and a little drawing of the tile pattern in the Operators’ Toilet Room.
We can still see ghosts on the floor slab of the operator’s stations on the Second floor.
Roof plan- still not sure why they left the parapet wall from the original building but took out the one going north-south.
Elevations- we’ll have to definitely do something with the front elevation drawing. BAB merch?
East elevation showing the little house that preceded the BAB. We heard that Bell bought the house, extended the chimney and resold it after the addition was completed. That hasn’t been confirmed but it makes sense. An essential utility, like Bell, could pretty much do what they want with their facilities back then.

We don’t have a West elevation drawing- there was no work on that section for this phase.

We were so fortunate to find these. They are a useful tool and another artifact of the BAB’s history.

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