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Mark Atwood
Mark's Stories. The secret second floor.
For a couple of years in the mid 1990s, I worked in a luxurious office tower, the Triad Center, in Salt Lake City. I would get in the elevator at the lobby level, and ride up to the 4th floor where our offices were.

One day, just after I got in the elevator and hit the button, one of the building's maintenance workers hurried in. He got out his huge keyring, and stuck a key into the elevator's control panel. I heard a chime, like a floor had been selected, but no new numbers lit up.

The doors closed, the car rose for just a few seconds, and then stopped. The doors opened, and a level I had never seen before appeared before me.

It turns out that this building had a secret level, between the lobby level and the 2nd floor, containing the HVAC controls and the maintenance workshop.


9 comments or Leave a comment
dcseain From: dcseain Date: July 26th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
No access to anyone's brain from the half-floor in that building, i gather?
hapgood From: hapgood Date: July 27th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
exactly what I was thinking!
dcseain From: dcseain Date: July 27th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Love your icon, and agree with its sentiment. Though i must look up the bunnies, though i'm confident they likely fall under the chew cud, cloven foot, &c bits.
intrepid_reason From: intrepid_reason Date: July 26th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
OOOOOH and were there magic people there as well?
kespernorth From: kespernorth Date: July 26th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're sure it didn't contain the secret Command Center of the Church of Latter-Day Saints?
paraventur From: paraventur Date: July 26th, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, harking back to the HVAC class I had to take in Architecture school, this isn't all that uncommon. Often it is the 13th floor (if the builders/owners/whatever are supersitious and don't want one). Sometimes you can even pick them out from the outside of the building . I am not sure, but I think that taller buildings might have several of these.

And yes, there is a sound design reason for having the bathrooms right near the elevators.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 26th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Many tall buildings to have multiple mechanical spaces. Generally a lot is below ground, in sub-basements (tall buildings often extend many stories underground), and near the top of the building is another common space, because they'll also put any active, or passive, dampers up there to counter the sway.

Clustering facilities like bathrooms near the elevators is common because it keeps all of the utility connections concentrated in the 'core' of the building, and often there is open access to the pipes, wires, etc, in those shafts. It makes maintanence much easier.

What kind of architectural work do you do? Architecture was my #2 career choice going into college - in the end I ended up doing something I didn't even know existed before I was in college. :-)
paraventur From: paraventur Date: July 29th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)

That's right - the clustering.

As for me? I'm a programmer editor. Like most people what I do has only a little to do with what my degree is. (except that I do have a writing degree as well :-)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 29th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh - I was a double major in History and Technical Writing. I'm a Director of IT Operations now. :-)
9 comments or Leave a comment