Principal Thoughts

A History of Awards

The film awards season comes to a close this weekend with the airing of the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday. Movie stars, directors, and producers will arrive by limo at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, where they will walk the red carpet and proceed inside and wait, with bated breath, to learn who will be named best actor and actress and which film will be crowned as the year’s best.

(more…)

Biltmore Theatre Renovation

Eighteen months after going dark at the start of the pandemic, Broadway theaters re-opened this fall to the great excitement of theater buffs, actors, and producers alike. Among the venues that returned is the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, located on West 47th Street in the heart of the theater district. Originally known as the Biltmore Theatre, the building was constructed in 1925 and hosted premieres of well-known productions such as Barefoot in the Park and Hair. The Biltmore had a previous re-opening in 2003—18 years ago this month—with a reconfigured and completely restored auditorium. Severud Associates—who has had its own re-opening of sorts with the return to full-time operations in its Seventh Avenue office—provided the structural design.
(more…)

National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center – Arecibo Observatory

Supermassive black hole binaries. Ultra-faint radio stars. Binary Pulsar J1906+0746. Quasar 3C273. These may sound like fantastical locales from science fiction movies. In fact, they are a few of the actual galactic bodies discovered at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center in Puerto Rico, more commonly known as the Arecibo Observatory. The facility opened in 1963 and by 1965 astronomers there had determined that Mercury, a planet only readily observable during daylight hours, rotated once per 59 days, not 88 days as was believed for almost a century. Conceptual design of the radio telescope started in 1958 and in January of 1960—61 years ago this month—Severud Associates was chosen to provide structural engineering services for the project.
(more…)

One Vanderbilt

After four years of intensive structural design and another four years of extensive construction observation and special inspection, Severud Associates celebrated on September 14, 2020, the opening of One Vanderbilt, a state-of-the-art tower that at 1,401 ft. in height is the tallest office building in Midtown and the second tallest office tower in all of New York City.  Located immediately to the west of Grand Central Terminal, the building joins lofty neighbors such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park as a prominent feature of the Manhattan skyline.

(more…)

Severud Associates Promotions

The experienced and expert engineering staff at Severud Associates is our most important asset. Therefore, we are proud to announce the following promotions: David J. Bretl, Robert A. Calderon, Meghan T. Krupka, Morgan M. Miller, Olivia B. Parker, John W. Puleo, and Kyle M. Roshberg have advanced to the level of Associate; Andrew J. Aumiller, John Lu, and Kyle M. MacDonald have progressed to the position of Senior Engineer. All have shown a deep commitment to their profession and the firm.

(more…)

Severud Associates Promotions

The experienced and expert engineering staff at Severud Associates is our most important asset. Therefore, we are proud to announce that J. Benjamin Alper has been named Associate Principal and Stephen Reichwein has been elevated to Senior Associate. Both have demonstrated a deep commitment to their profession and the firm.

(more…)

FAA Air Traffic Control Towers

At the beginning of his presidency, John F. Kennedy had many lofty goals:  End the cold war and achieve world peace; bolster the civil rights of minorities and improve the economic plight of the poor; and, of course, explore outer space and put an astronaut on the moon.  Less well known but equally ambitious was his desire to raise the quality of the architectural design of federal buildings.  Kennedy’s definition of this category was broad and not limited to courthouses and museums.  He included any structure built by the government to serve the public, even buildings used by the FAA at airports.  As a result of the president’s commitment to this goal, I.M. Pei was chosen in April of 1962 to develop a new prototype for air traffic control towers.  Three months later—57 years ago this summer—Pei chose Severud Associates to perform the necessary structural engineering.

(more…)

Severud Associates Promotions

The experienced and expert engineering staff at Severud Associates is our most important asset, and we are proud to announce the following promotions.  J. Benjamin Alper, Matthew Peitz, and Daniel Surrett have been elevated to the level of Senior Associate; Jesse Cooper, Jack Gainey, and Andrew Moss have advanced to Associate; and David Bretl, Robert Calderon, Peter Fetzer, Morgan Miller, Olivia Parker, John Puleo, and Kyle Roshberg, have progressed to Senior Engineer.

(more…)

Looking Back to See the Future

Severud Associates has been providing structural engineering services for projects in New York City, throughout the country, and around the world since 1928.  During this time, the names and faces of the firm’s principals have changed, but its hallmarks of excellence and innovation have always remained the same.  Before starting his own firm, Fred N. Severud partnered with James Ruderman in an engineering venture that gained a reputation for devising structural solutions for challenging projects.  Although their partnership did not last long, Severud began a new firm—89 years ago this month—and accepted his first project, providing structural engineering services for a parochial school in Flushing, Queens.  Fred N. Severud went on to have a long and storied career.  His legacy continues to inform structural engineering today.
(more…)

Roswell Park Cancer Institute–Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center

According to the American Cancer Society, the estimated population of cancer survivors in the United States will increase from more than 15.5 million in 2016 to 20.3 million by 2026.  Improvements in detection and care contributed to this dramatic increase, a result of many decades of research and experience.  Severud Associates has a long history of providing structural engineering services for the hospitals and medical facilities where this vital research and care occurs, going back to the design of a cancer lab addition for the Vanderbilt Clinic at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in 1949.  More recently, Severud was retained to engineer the Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York.
(more…)