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mezzanine servants quarters – 2nd floor – Mellon Building – Washington DC – 2013-09-15
Image by Tim Evanson
Looking north up the stairs to the mezzanine servants’ quarters on the second floor of the McCormick Apartments at 1785 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The structure is also known as the Andrew Mellon Building, for one of its most famous tenants. The flooring and moldings are all original to the building.
The structure was built by Stanley McCormick, heir to the International Harvester fortune. McCormick was mentally ill, however, and the building was largely built to the specifications of his wife, Katherine Dexter McCormick. The apartments were designed by Jules Henri de Sibour in the Beaux-Arts style common to the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Construction began in 1915 and was complete in 1917.
The building was designed to accommodate the very wealthy, as were most of the mansions and apartment buildings in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and north along Massachusetts Avenue NW. The plot of land was trapezoidal, posing some challenges to the typical symmetrical, boxy mansion design. De Sibor designed the entrance (on the northwest corner of 18th Street and Massachusetts Avenue) to pentrate the building in a northeasterly direction. Here, a circular tower formed the corner of the building and created a circular receiving area where visitors could shake off water-logged coats, remove galoshes, and alert the concierge as to whom they were visiting. Three short steps led into a small, square foyer where the concierge had a desk. From here, one could take the elevator up or take the winding staircase to the upper floors.
Because of the reception and foyer areas on the ground floor, the first floor was divided into two smaller apartments. The apartment to the left of the lobby was nearly identical in arrangement to that of the units above, but the one to the right was radically different in order to add baths, kitchen, bedrooms, and servants’ quarters.
Each of the upper floors occupied an entire floor. The core of the building contained the staircase and elevator. Around this was wrapped the servants hall, kitchen, and servants’ quarters. On the exterior of the building was the family living space. The facade facing the alley that ran along the east side and southeast corner of the building was undecorated. A narrow, unfinished rectangular courtyard pierced the building here to provide light to the servants’ quarters and servants’ hall.
The huge living room and somewhat smaller dining room ran the length of the building along Massachusetts Avenue NW. Behind the dining room (along the southeast corner alley) was the kitchen, and further back was the servants’ hall (which served as a servants’ dining room). Three foyers — right, left, and ahead — bracketed the elevator and stairwell, providing plenty of buffer space to keep visitors out of the apartment until they were wanted.
Along quieter 18th Street was a salon, two small bedrooms (with a shared bath), and a large bedroom (which occupied the brightly lit corner). Three small bedrooms ran along P Street NW. There were three bathrooms here, each shared by the bedroom next to it. These essentially created a long corridor on the P Street wall through which family members or guests could visit one another in states of undress without using the hallway. A public corridor ran along the inner wall of these bedrooms.
The inner core of the building consisted of a mezzanine set below the floor. The servants’ hall, kitchen, dining room, living room, salon, bedrooms, foyers, and public corridors all had 14.5 foot high ceilings. The servants quarters were remarkably smaller, each just 10 feet wide and 15 feet long with only enough room for a twin bed and an upright wardrobe. All five servants’ rooms shared a single bath. Ceilings here were just eight feet. Interestingly, the top floor had TWO mezzanines — the normal one below, as well as one above. This gave the top floor apartment space for as many as 10 live-in servants.
The building offered many amenities: A central boiler system that provided both heat in winter and circulated cool water through the radiators in summer (to help cool things off); a central vaccum system (plug the hose into the wall, and use); refrigerated tap water; and laundry chutes. Each apartment had its own washing machines and drying racks in the basement.
The building had numerous famous residents. They included Stanley McCormick and his daughter, Katherine McCormick Judge, who lived here from 1917 to 1930 and from 1930 to 1933. Robert Wood Bliss, a State Department official, lived here from 1920 to 1923. He moved out to become ambassador to Sweden, and upon his return to the U.S. purchased the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown. (It is now a national historic site and museum housing his extensive collection of pre-Columbian and Byzantine art.) William Butterworth, president of John Deere, lived here from 1930 to 1931 when he was president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Alanson B. Houghton, the former president of the Corning Glass Works, lived here from 1930 to 1934, as did Thomas Fortune Ryan (the onwer of the Belgian Congo diamond fields and an American robber-baron) from 1920 to 1922. Pearl Mesta, "the hostess with the mostest", lived here from 1931 to 1932. Her dinner parties and cocktail receptions were considered the most lavish and delightful of Washington society for half a century. Industrialist and banker Andrew Mellon also lived here from 1921 to 1932 while he served as Secretary of the Treasury to Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. Mellon occupied the top floor. Most tenants paid a whopping ,000 a month to live there. (That’s 5,000 in 2013 dollars!) Mellon paid ,000 a month. For a few months in 1936, Lord Joseph Duveen rented the apartment below Mellon’s and placed 42 valuable oil paintings there for Mellon to look at. Mellon, an avid art collector, was expanding his collection to form the nucleus of what he hoped would be a National Gallery of Art. Duveen hired a caretaker for the temporary gallery, and gave Mellon access (day or night). After some months, Mellon purchased nearly all of the paintings Duveen offered.
The Great Depression led to widespread vacancies in the building during the 1930s. It was largely empty by 1940. In 1941, the building was seized by the federal government and turned into offices. The British Purchasing Commission (which obtained ships, guns, and ammunition from the U.S. during the Lend-Lease period prior to WWII) used it from 1941 to 1942, followed by the British Air Commission in 1948 and the Commonwealth Scientific Office in 1949. It stood empty for two years. Stanley McCormick died in 1950, and under the terms of his will the building was donated to the American Council on Education. The council used it until 1969. It was sold to the Brookings Institution (which is next door) in January 1970. Brookings rented out to a wide range of scientific, educational, and lobbying organizations. It was sold to the National Trust for Historic Preservation on October 28, 1976 — at which point it was declared a National Historic Landmark.
In late June 2013, the National Trust sold the building to the American Enterprise Institute (a right-wing think tank) for .5 million. The Trust moved into leased space on the top two floors of the Watergate Office Building. The National Trust holds a permanent historic preservation easement that protects both the interior and exterior of the Mellon Building.
Rockwell International Corporation
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. long x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)
Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass features; payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite; thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.
The first Space Shuttle orbiter, "Enterprise," is a full-scale test vehicle used for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground; it is not equipped for spaceflight. Although the airframe and flight control elements are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this vehicle has no propulsion system and only simulated thermal tiles because these features were not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. "Enterprise" was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-long approach-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was used for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration
• • •
Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:
The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight.
Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have made it the second space shuttle to fly after Columbia. However, during the construction of Columbia, details of the final design changed, particularly with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the country. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be less costly to build Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been created as a test article. Similarly, Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares instead.
Construction began on the first orbiter on June 4, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was originally planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A write-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named after the Starship Enterprise, featured on the television show Star Trek. Although Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who during World War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26) that served with USS Enterprise (CV-6)—said that he was "partial to the name" and overrode NASA officials.
The design of OV-101 was not the same as that planned for OV-102, the first flight model; the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A large number of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this vehicle, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. Instead of a thermal protection system, its surface was primarily fiberglass.
In mid-1976, the orbiter was used for ground vibration tests, allowing engineers to compare data from an actual flight vehicle with theoretical models.
On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek were on hand at the dedication ceremony.
Approach and landing tests (ALT)
Main article: Approach and Landing Tests
While at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was used by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle program. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for "Approach and Landing Test". These tests included a maiden "flight" on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems were carried out to verify functionality prior to atmospheric flight.
The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to five test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The purpose of these test flights was to measure the flight characteristics of the mated combination. These tests were followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight control systems.
Enterprise underwent five free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed under astronaut control. These tests verified the flight characteristics of the orbiter design and were carried out under several aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation problems were revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred.
On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its own for the first time.
Preparation for STS-1
Following the ALT program, Enterprise was ferried among several NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and solid rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.
With the completion of critical testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to allow certain components to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour visiting France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (during the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition). It was also used to fit-check the never-used shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Finally, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution.
After the Challenger disaster, NASA considered using Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the necessary equipment needed for it to be used in space was considered, but instead it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to build Endeavour.
In 2003, after the breakup of Columbia during re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board conducted tests at Southwest Research Institute, which used an air gun to shoot foam blocks of similar size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing leading edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to perform analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. While the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the impact was enough to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was 2.5 times weaker, this suggested that the RCC leading edge would have been shattered. Additional tests on the fiberglass were canceled in order not to risk damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to determine the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam impact test created a hole 41 cm by 42.5 cm (16.1 inches by 16.7 inches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam impact of the type Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing leading edge.
The board determined that the probable cause of the accident was that the foam impact caused a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the leading edge of Columbia’s left wing, allowing hot gases generated during re-entry to enter the wing and cause structural collapse. This caused Columbia to spin out of control, breaking up with the loss of the entire crew.
Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport before it was restored and moved to the newly built Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once again.
Kresge Auditorium is an auditorium building for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located at 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designed by the noted architect Eero Saarinen, with ground-breaking in 1953 and dedication in 1955. It was designed together with the MIT Chapel, the two buildings separated by a "green," referred to by students as the "Kresge Oval." The ensemble is recognized as one of the best examples of mid-Century modern architecture in the US. Though unassuming by today’s standards, the buildings were part of an attempt to define MIT’s social cohesion. The Auditorium was where MIT students and faculty could gather for formal events, the chapel was intended for marriages and memorial; the green that stretches between the two buildings, in the tradition of early-American urban planning, was to serve as the setting for civic events. Though the campus has grown around the buildings, the essential features of this idea are still easily legible. The building was named for its principal funder, Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of Kresge Stores (corporate predecessor of K-Mart) and the Kresge Foundation.
The auditorium is defined by an elegant thin-shell structure, one-eighth of a sphere rising to a height of 50 feet, and sliced away by sheer glass walls so that it comes to earth on only three points. Thin shelled concrete technology was innovative for the times. The dome weighs only 1200 tons and is clad with copper. Sitting on a circular brick platform, the dome contains a concert hall (with seating for 1226 people), with a lower level that houses a small theater (seating 204), two rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, offices, bathrooms, and lounges. The concert hall also contains a Holtkamp organ. The opening ceremony in 1955, that featured the organ, included a piece of music that was commissioned for the event, Aaron Copland‘s "Canticle of Freedom."
Every seat in concert hall has an unobstructed view since there are no interior supports for the overarching dome. Working with renowned acoustical architects Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Saarinen employed free-hanging acoustic "clouds" that absorb and direct sound, instead of a traditional plaster ceiling. These clouds also contained lights, loudspeakers, and ventilation.
The first professional recording at the Kresge Auditorium was a performance by soloist James Stagliano on the French Horn, playing Mozart’s 4 Concerti for Horn, accompanied by the Zimbler Sinfonietta. The recording was made using a single Telefunken microphone, positioned 10 feet from the concert platform. The performance was recorded on an Ampex tape recorder, and released on LP under the ‘Boston Records’ Label.