Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Work progresses on installing the walls of windows on the four sides of the Quarry Visitor Center. The north wall is complete and the east side is well along. Installing the glass involves several steps.

The individual planes of glass are much smaller than the space delineated by the vertical and horizontal structural beams. So smaller metal framing is first put in between the structural beams, then gaskets and flashing around each opening, and finally the glass is installed.  This is a slow and time consuming process, especially when one realizes that there will be nearly 700 panes of glass (each 3 feet x 3 feet) in the new QVC!

And, of course, because of the height of the walls, many of the frames and panes need to be put in from a crane and basket, which makes the work go slower.

The glass is high efficiency and will help with heating and cooling and the tint will improve the ambient light inside the building.  Having thus taken care of your visitor needs at the upper end of your body, what about the other end?

Water leaks were the bane of the 1958 QVC. Water causes the bentonitic mudstone beneath the building to swell, which makes the structure to twist and crack over time. To avoid those problems in the new QVC, virtually all water has been excluded from it, which means no inside toilets. Bathrooms have been built outside the building, near the drop off and pick up point for the shuttle that will take visitors up to the building.

Photos: NPS (with special thanks to Justin Jones for that great first photo)