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Trusses and the Liberty Bell

On a recent trip to Philadelphia, PA to visit a client for a consultation, I built in some time on my trip to see the sights. After all, Philadelphia is a very historic place for the United States of America. I had the honor of visiting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. For more on this American artifact/icon, click here.

While waiting in line to see the Liberty Bell, I could not help but notice the rather unusual trusses that were constructed to support the roof. Being a truss guy, I was very intrigued by this seemingly special design. It was a type that I had never witnessed before.

Liberty-Bell-Trusses-1

The trusses were spaced at around 60” on center, with a beautifully wood finished exposure. The chord members and the vertical web members were welded together. The chords are then welded to the steel beams supporting them.

Liberty-Bell-Trusses-3

Threaded rod connectors were used for the diagonal web members.

Liberty-Bell-Trusses-2

With a 20-30 minute wait in line, I was overtaken by many thoughts about this strangely effective design. I know, I know don’t mix business and pleasure right? I simply could not help myself. The thought came to me to write this short article and ask these questions of you all:

  • Have you ever seen this type of design?
  • Does this design have a “name” or was it unique to this structure?

Liberty-Bell

I could not help walking away from this marvelous and historic site with more questions than answers, especially after spending some time reading all of the history in the building itself about the Liberty Bell and what it truly stands for.

Philadelphia-Liberty-Bell

Maybe it was because I was wearing a company shirt, I don’t know. What I do know was that I was left in awe of the majesty of my surroundings…even the trusses.

Christopher Gould – President

Gould Design, Inc.