Last Friday one of our projects in construction held its base building steel topping out. The design team, contractor, construction crew, all the subs and consultants turned out to sign the beam and celebrate with a Blue Ribbon BBQ lunch hosted by Skanska. Claude LeBlanc, General Superintendant at Skanska, Kerim Evin, Vice President of Operations at Skanska, and Tom Lentz, the Director of the museums we’re working on each said a few words before the beam was hoisted in air and settled in its final place on the north side of the building.
For those new to the practice of ‘topping out,’ let us turn to Wikipedia’s description:
“The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious practice of placing a tree on the top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors that had been displaced. The practice migrated to England with Scandinavian invaders and took root there. Today, a non-religious but formal ceremony is often held to commemorate this milestone in the construction of a building. All tradesmen on the job usually join in the celebration as well as the supervisors, representatives of the architecture and engineering firms, the owner or representatives of the owning organization, donors, and any VIPs that are invited.”
Beam taking off
Beam lands in its final resting place
Photos by Miep Gieskes and Kacey Miklaszewski