Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Steel Day!

Sorry, Jacoby, I said “steel” not “steal.”

Today, people across the country celebrate the wonderful building material that is steel. Why do we care about that here at this blog? Well, if it weren’t for steel, there might not be a Section 36.

After all, Section 36 is located in everyone’s favorite steel structure, Fenway Park. Steel really helped make Fenway what it is today.


Thanks to steel, spans between supports are shorter than they would have been. That means fewer obstructed views. Can you imagine Fenway with even more obstructed views? Would it have lasted 100 years if that were the case? I doubt it.

Some of that advantage you can see when you look at the steel trusses supporting the stadium. It’s easy to imagine that wooden planks would not have been able to span quite so far between columns. But, there’s even steel hidden in the concrete. The steel reinforced concrete also helps increase the spans between supports. That was a pretty new concept in concrete when Fenway was built. They were using concrete when the Egyptians built the pyramids. But, adding steel reinforcing was a concept only decades old when Fenway was built. It was a lucky break that the technology was used in the park, helping it to survive.

It was also pretty important back in the day that steel and concrete was much more fireproof than wooden bleachers. Fires that wiped out wooden seating would leave the steel and concrete alone for us to use today.

Without the wonder of steel, Fenway Park would be a much different place, if it were even a place at all.

Thank You Steel!

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