National Champions

National Champions

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Johnstone Hall Under Construction In 1954

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s photos are a series of shots during the construction of Johnstone Hall in 1954.

Johnstone Hall was the largest building ever constructed using the lift-slab building technique. It had two miles of corridors, 437,459 square feet of floor space, and housed over 2,200 students.

The Lift Slab technique was innovative. Construction engineers erected the building in only three months and the actual building of Johnstone began with the pouring of the concrete
foundation for all floors. These were quick-dried using a vacuum to remove the excess water. The floors were then hoisted up with hydraulic jacks. Each level was supported by a series of columns, with metal room dividers added last.

Only two other buildings in the world were ever constructed using the same method as Johnstone. They both collapsed because, unlike Johnstone, they used temporary supports.

Johnstone, from the start, was designed as a military dorm, with gun racks in each room and wide halls that allowed for formations of the cadets inside.
One year after Johnstone was finished, Clemson ceased being a military school. This created problems later on because Johnstone was designed as a military dorm. Because cadets
were required to keep personal belongings to a minimum, the design was such that there was very little storage space, a crude fact that thousands of Clemson students found out as they arrived on campus every August.

(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).

Scott Rhymer can be reached at