RSA Plaza – Roof Drains Below


RSA Plaza Terrace

The Plaza Terrace Restaurant, Which Opened onto the Roof Terrace

RSA Plaza Drain Below

The “Drain Below” Paver Emblem.

As noted previously, the Plaza design included an elaborate landscaped roof deck opening from the glass enclosed restaurant on the 6th floor.  It offered a splendid view of the State Capitol and the remainder of the Capitol Complex.  We designed the roof patio area with 2-foot square granite pavers set on specially designed rubber pads.  The arrangement allowed rainwater to fall through the cracks between pavers and travel to the roof drains located beneath the pavers (that was the theory anyway).  We struggled manfully to master this new technology.

It occurred to our design architect, John Gandy, that, with this concept, the roof drains would be hidden under the pavers and difficult to locate if a need for servicing ever arose.  In a brilliant stroke, he determined that we would mark each paver stone that occurred directly above a drain, to facilitate their being identified by maintenance personnel.  Gandy designed the “mark” as 6-inch high letters in fancy script reading “DB”, which, of course, stood for “drain below”.

Shortly after the building was occupied and guests had enjoyed the opening galas, and had partaken of the view and the ambiance, I was summoned to Dr. Bronner’s office.  He relayed an accusation made by numerous wits and political adversaries that he, David Bronner, had caused his name to be engraved in stone all about the Plaza roof patio.  Understandably, he wanted an explanation.

At the time, I was not aware of our roof drain marking, and promised a quick investigation.  I returned sheepishly a few hours later with the story and the explanation that the “DB” carved into the paver stones stood for “drain below”, and not for “David Bronner”, but it fell on deaf ears.  To this day, all the wags still insist, to their great enjoyment, that Gandy and I emblazoned the Plaza Building with Bronner’s initials.  It was another of life’s foibles that one learns to live with.

-Charles Humphries (“Peril and Intrigue Within Architecture”)

This is one of many RSA Plaza stories. The rest can be found here.

Facebook Comments

Website Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *