The RED Letter
RED Engineering & Design
Structural Engineers
            January 2015

First, what's up at Red? 


We are moving! So, the first month of the New Year will prove to be busy for Red Engineering & Design. Gratefully, we will be involved in our clients' interesting projects in addition to preparing for our move to Apex, North Carolina, at the end of the January.


In 2014 our staff grew, resulting in the need for additional space. Our new office space is located just off Salem Street---two blocks walking distance from downtown Apex. Not only are we looking forward to having more elbow room, we are also looking forward to future growth enabling us to better serve our clients.


As of February 1, 2015, our new address is as follows:


Red Engineering and Design

126 Salem Towne Court

Apex, North Carolina 27502



January marks the first month of a new year and many new "firsts." These firsts may range from a first birthday to a first ski trip. With that in mind, Red Engineering and Design is thinking about some "firsts" as they relate to structural engineering.

Maybe not the First, but: The Oldest Man-made Structure

Man is said to have first built and controlled fire 100-thousand years ago. Ever since then, he has been building. To date, the oldest man-made structure-which has been scientifically vetted-is located in Greece. Specifically, the structure is a stone wall built approximately 23,000 years ago in front of a cave entrance. The cave is located in Theopetra, Greece, along the northern edge of the Thessalian Plain. Scientists believe the wall was built to avert wind during the Earth's most recent ice age.

Limestone outcropping at caves at Theopetra

(Want to learn more? Log on to:


The First Skyscraper   

Interestingly, the first skyscraper was NOT in New York, but built in Chicago in the years 1884 and 1885. Known as the world's first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building was considered "gargantuan," rising ten stories into the air and topping-out at 138 feet above street level. Two stories were added later, making it a 12-story structure. It was considered the "Father-of-Skyscrapers" due to its unique design by structural engineer, Major William LeBaron Jenney.


Jenney designed a steel frame that supported the walls and the weight of the entire building. The exterior was a brick veneer. This building technique became known as "The Chicago Skeleton."


In an ironic twist, Chicago's Home Insurance Building was razed in 1931 at the tender age of 46. Meanwhile in 1931, New York City's Empire State Building was completed embodying 103 stories with a roof-height of 1,250 feet.

The Home Insurance Building circa 1895

(Want to learn more? Log on to:

The First Multi-Story Parking Garage

There is controversy as to when and where the first-ever multi-story parking garage appeared on the planet, so you can be the judge (information provided, below). In America; however, again we learn that Chicago was the first place for a structure of this type.


Approximately three blocks north of the Home Insurance Building is where the first multi-storied parking garage was built in 1918 to serve the guests at the luxurious and venerable Hotel LaSalle in the heart of Chicago. Designed by Holabird and Roche Architects, the garage featured five stories, above-ground parking with a spiral 10-foot-wide ramp that allowed automobiles to be parked on each level. While Chicago was the first city to build a parking garage, just a short 11 years later, America had more than 23 million cars on the road and American cities needed multi-storied parking garages.

LaSalle Hotel Garage circa 2005

The Hotel LaSalle garage was demolished in 2005 after years of wrangling to get it registered as a landmark. Meanwhile, residents of Glasgow, Scotland, claim that their Botanic Gardens Garage is the first multi-story parking garage to be "built." Log on to and judge for yourself.


(Want to learn more about the Hotel LaSalle garage? Log on to:


Red Engineering & Design is pleased to welcome Jeff Moss, PE, to the firm!


Jeff is a structural engineer with more than 25 years of experience. His projects have ranged from design and construction of industrial and aerospace facilities to commercial properties and schools. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (Structural Engineering Option) from The Pennsylvania State University.



Feature Articles
Dates & Events
New Office!
February 1, 2015


Red Engineering & Design
wants to be the first to wish our clients and friends
Happy and Prosperous
New Year
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View our videos on YouTube