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FOR the benefit of members residing at a distance and for others who have not yet been able to visit the new premises of the Institution of Structural Engineers, we publish this month some photographs. The new headquarters which has been purchased by the Institution are at No. 10, Upper Belgrave Street : they are about mid-way between Victoria Station and Hyde Park Corner Tube Station, being about five minutes’ walk from
each : and are two minutes’ walk up Wilton Street from the bus stops in Grosvenor Place. They are therefore very central. The premises are on five floors and a basement. In the basement are the housekeeper’s quarters and some storage accommodation. The ground floor contains the Secretary’s office, general office and library ; on the first floor is the Meeting Room and the Assistant Secretary’s office. The second and third floors form the Secretary’s residential quarters, and the top floor is mainly devoted to store-rooms. The Meeting Room will, it is estimated, seat about 160 members at Meetings, and as under the terms of the licence for Meetings, strangers can only be permitted to attend by special invitation, it should prove quite large enough for all present purposes. In this room a lantern and screen have been fitted up, the lantern operated by a simple new electrical device for lighting, so that
no further fees will have to be paid (as has been the case in the past) to secure the services of an expert operator with a lantern, that duty now being undertaken by the staff. During the daytime, except when Committees are meeting, the Meeting Room is arranged as a Members’ Common Room, and members are asked to make the fullest use of it. Coffee may be obtained here after lunch, as also may afternoon tea. It forms a pleasant meeting-place for informal talks, or for quiet reference to books. Following are some photographs.
The author submits this paper to the Institution with some trepidation, on account of the fact that he has no credentials of architectural knowledge or tuition which could
entitle him to speak to a gathering of structural engineers. His professional training and experience have been that of an engineer yet the alleged faults of his own and other branches of engineering development have on many occasions during the past twelve years led him to take records of the amplitude of vibration resulting from various causes in a large number of buildings, and to study the accompanying phenomena. Each such study has on completion been duly pigeon-holed and its lessons remembered. No two were identical. In many cases remedial measures were necessary; in a few legal authorities were also concerned; in others the measurements were found to indicate such slight movements that the matter dropped. The writer feels, however, that omitting cases occurring within the last 2 1/2 years and suppressing the names of places whlch might possibly lead to the identification of any of the several earlier
cases quoted, he is now entitled to submit a selection of the more interesting of these to professional colleagues who may be concerned with ills which in their manifestation are modern in their origin, and are likely to increase in extent in the next few years.
To paint a picture with a brush is difficult enough in all conscience: but it has this advantage, that if the subject does not like it, he can destroy it. Again, if the artist is in difficulty he has but to purchase and copy a good photograph-and, as is well known, the camera cannot lie. But to paint a picture with a pen, and one of a living personality, can be and generally is a task of some trouble. Ruskin complicates the matter with his didactic truism that “nothing is beautiful which is not true,” but goes on to render it a iittle easier by saying that "all really great pictures exhibit the general habits . . . manifested in some peculiar, rare and beautiful way.” A pen picture is at a great disadvantage as compared with the painted because the subject of it cannnot decapitate it in the approved mode, and may turn his head-hunting proclivity in the direction of the author.