Low Memorial Library, Columbia University

New York, NY

Designed in the form of a greek cross, the building is crowned by one of the largest domes in North America (70 feet across by 105 feet high). The dome pendentives are associated with barrel-vaulted arches, creating one of the most magnificent and highly used public spaces in New York City. The style is based on the Pantheon in Rome and the Parthenon in Greece.

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Scope of work

  • Hammer sounded plaster interior of dome.
  • Identified active and recent crack systems.
  • Installed electronic crack monitoring equipment in inaccessible areas between the inner and outer domes and beneath the inner dome.
  • Assisted with a “total station” survey of the areas between the two domes.
  • Deliverables included a letter of report, photographs and a videotape of the survey.

Original architect

  • McKim Mead & White (completed in 1895)

Building owner

  • Columbia University

In collaboration with

  • Helpern Architects
    architect
  • Robert Silman Associates, P.C.
    structural engineer