Some Cool Buildings We Saw or Drove By on our Vacation - July 2010 - An Engineer's Aspect


Home Top Ad

Responsive Ads Here

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Some Cool Buildings We Saw or Drove By on our Vacation - July 2010

So, we just took a 2-week vacation and saw or passed by some really cool buildings!

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone Park, Montana.

While we were waiting for Old Faithful to blow its gasket, we toured the inside of this amazing Lodge.

According to
"Built during the winter of 1903-04, the Old Faithful Inn was designed by Robert C. Reamer, who wanted the asymmetry of the building to reflect the chaos of nature.

The Old Faithful Inn is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States. It is a masterpiece of rustic architecture in its stylized design and fine craftsmanship. Its influence on American architecture, particularly park architecture, was immeasurable. The building is a rustic log and wood-frame structure with gigantic proportions: nearly 700 feet in length and seven stories high."

The Rexburg Tabernacle, Rexburg, Idaho.

Although I have seen and been inside this old building many times, it was fun to drive by it again. If you get a chance, the Teton flood museum in the basement is really cool. reports:
"The Rexburg Tabernacle was built in 1911, as a meeting place for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Local church members supplied the funds for construction - $33,000. The grey stone was quarried on the Rexburg Bench, about four miles south east of Rexburg. The lighter trim rock came from the Archer-Sunnydale quarries, 10 miles to the south. The building was dedicated on January 7, 1912 by church president Joseph F. Smith.

The Tabernacle was registered as a national historic site in 1974. In 1977 a program was launched to preserve the building and the City of Rexburg acquired the Tabernacle for a cultural center and historical museum.

The Tabernacle Features a large stage, pipe organ and seating for over 1,000 people, including the balcony. The basement of the Tabernacle houses the Teton Dam Flood Museum."

The 2002 Olympic Oval, Kearns, Utah.

This building was built for the Salt Lake City Olympic games and happens to be located within walking distance of my sister's house.

From "Built to host speed skating competitions during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games, the Utah Olympic Oval now serves as a multi-purpose recreation complex that includes recreational gyms, weight facilities and swimming pools.

The Oval is operated by the Utah Athletic Foundation. During the 2002 Winter Games, the Oval saw athletes set 10 Olympic records and eight world records, while the facility gained a reputation for the 'Fastest Ice on Earth.'"

Chaco Canyon Ruins, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

We drove by these ruins in the dark. I wish we would've had time to stop. They are awesome.

"The Chaco Canyon area was first inhabited in the middle of the ninth century and reached its peak importance about 200 years later, by which time the population reached 4,000 and over a hundred satellite villages had been constructed across north New Mexico. Trade routes were opened up with more distant settlements in Colorado, Arizona and north Mexico, and yet as with all other ancient civilizations in this part of the Southwest, the thriving Chacoan colony declined rapidly and all the great houses were abandoned in the late thirteenth century, though this site in particular retains great significance to many modern Indian tribes. Chaco became part of the national park system (as a national monument) in 1907 and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987."
--According to

Dome Technology, Idaho Falls, Idaho.

This complex of domes houses Dome Technology, a fantastic Monolithic Dome building company run by my uncle, Barry South. Barry, his brother, Randy and my father, David South invented the Monolithic Dome building process.

Price Municipal Complex, Price, Utah.

This Monolithic Dome complex was built by Monolithic Constructors, Inc. in the 1980s. I remember visiting the complex during construction. It was interesting to see the new metal cladding on the outside.

Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

We drove by this library several times. I think it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Salt Lake City.

"The new Main Library in Salt Lake City embodies the idea that a library is more than a repository of books and computers--it reflects and engages the city's imagination and aspirations. The building, which opened in February 2003, is double the previous space with 240,000 square feet for more than 500,000 books and other materials, and room to grow the collection. The six-story curving, walkable wall embraces the public plaza, with shops and services at ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat auditorium. A multi-level reading area along the glass lens at the southern facade of the building looks out onto the plaza with stunning views of the city and Wasatch Mountains beyond. A roof-top garden, accessible by walking the crescent wall or the elevators, offers a 360 degree view of the Salt Lake Valley. Spiraling fireplaces on four floors resemble a column of flame from the vantage of 200 East and 400 South. The Urban Room between the library and the crescent wall is a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight and open to magnificent views."

The L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho.

This beautiful building is right off I-15 through Pocatello, Idaho.

Quick Facts from

Size: 123,000 square feet

Highest point: Barbara J. Marshall Rotunda, 83 ft. 2 in.

Amount of electrical wiring: 1 million feet (about 189 miles)

Acreage: 16.8

Number of bricks used: about 280,000

Heaviest acoustic panels: two, at about 36,000
pounds each

Largest performance venues:
• Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall, 13,890 sq. ft.; 1,200 seats.

• Beverly B. Bistline Thrust Theatre: 8,212 sq. ft.; about 450 seats.

• James E. and Beverly Rogers Black Box Theatre: 3,400 sq. ft.; upwards of 227 seats, depending on how they are arranged.

First performance: “Man of LaMancha,” October 2004, in the Beverly B. Bistline Thrust Theatre

Denver Broncos - Invesco Field, Denver, Colorado.

Invesco Field is also located just off the interstate through Denver. I was glad we didn't have a repeat performance of ten years ago when a van I was driving vapor-locked on the freeway in front of Invesco Field during rush hour.

"Construction of Invesco Field at Mile High was completed in just over two years. The Denver Broncos first game at Invesco Field at Mile High was on September 10, 2001. Over 76,000 seats are located throughout the stadium. Incorporating part of the team name, the main three tier grandstand is in the shape of a horseshoe. The lower grandstand circles the entire field. Above the seats in the south endzone is the main video/scoreboard. On top of the scoreboard is a replica of a bronco named "Bucky". Using blue, white, and orange seats, the Broncos team logo has been incorporated into the upper deck above the endzone on the north side of the stadium. Two video boards are also located in the upper deck of the north endzone. Invesco Field at Mile High has many amenities, including the Sports Legends Mall Legacy Walk, which host pre-game activities, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, and a Broncos team store."