Even the gas pressure posed a problem. Club Corp demanded gas cooking equipment in their new facility, and we undertook a complex study to determine if the low pressure gas available in that part of the city could reach the 21st Floor. Finally the engineer’s ruling came down that it would not, so I undertook negotiations with Alagasco to bring in medium pressure gas from a location several blocks away. The gas company was miffed with the RSA and with yours truly for designing the Tower as an all-electric building, and this was likely to be a ticklish undertaking.
I soon found out that a parallel and simultaneous episode was going on at the RSA’s new Bainbridge Parking Deck, three blocks up Monroe Street. It seems that engineer Frank Shaver had specified a medium-pressure gas-powered emergency electrical generator for the deck, never thinking that only low pressure gas was available at that site. The deck was complete, but the generator would operate at only half its rated capacity. Ron Blount and the RSA were poised to severely punish Shaver & Zgouvas for the transgression.
I jumped into the fray with such zeal and speed that a compromise was quickly reached. Our proposed deal enabled Alagasco to expand its medium-pressure network with minimal outlay, the cost of correcting the Bainbridge deck was concealed in the Tower account, and the CCC got its gas cooking equipment. The Alabama Gas Corporation was so delighted with the outcome that it awarded my wife and me a place in their 1994 all-expense-paid excursion to San Antonio, Texas.
-Charles Humphries (“Peril and Intrigue Within Architecture”)