46 Grand St. Header
Someone has been doing some work to the ground floor of 46 Grand St in Williamsburg and I have been checking out the beautiful existing cast iron structural work that frames the opening. Interestingly, the header that spans the original storefront opening and supports the upper brick facade is arched. But more interestingly, it has a truss rod beneath it. I assumed that the original storefront had needed an arched detail at the top, but that made no sense if it would only be interrupted by the rod. Then I realized that the rod is holding the beam in tension to maximize its load bearing potential across that 25-30 span without exerting lateral force on the neighbors to the East and West and without having to be posted in the middle somewhere, thus providing a wide open storefront. Beautiful 19th Century stuff.