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Publication numberUS2761181 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date4 Sep 1956
Filing date26 Jun 1948
Priority date26 Jun 1948
Publication numberUS 2761181 A, US 2761181A, US-A-2761181, US2761181 A, US2761181A
InventorsLegeman Ralph E
Original AssigneeLegeman Ralph E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gymnasium construction
US 2761181 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 4,1956 R. E. LEGEMAN ,7

GYMNASIUM CONSTRUCTION Filed June 26, 1948 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

pt. 4, 1956 R. E. LEGEMAN 2,761,181

GYMNASIUM CONSTRUCTION 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 26, 1948 I INVENTOR. 1 [1 6932 477 United States Patent Office GYMNASIUM CONSTRUCTION Ralph E. Legeman, Evansville, Ind. Application June 26, 1948, Serial No. 35,455

Claims. (Cl. 20-112) This invention relates to the construction of sports arenas of the covered type, commonly known as gymnasiums, and its purpose is to provide a new form of gymnasium which will be economical in construction, safe and convenient in use and attractive in appearance.

It has been the practice heretofore to construct gymnasiums and other indoor amphitheatres entirely above the ground and to erect tiers of seats running up from the playing lloor and supported by a structure of wood, steel or concrete. It has been generally necessary for the spectators to reach their seats by means of steps running up from the playing floor which often interferes with the athletes or other performers on that floor and, in addition, results in objectionable crowding on the steps. At the conclusion of a contest or performance, the spectators leave through the same channels by which they entered, finally emerging from exits which are often far removed from their seats and few in number, with the result that such arenas are emptied very slowly, a matter which is generally annoying and very serious in case of fire or panic. Also, the necessity of extending such a building structure to a considerable height above the ground and of providing an adequate supporting structure for the seats, steps, aisles and the like, has made it impossible to erect such a gymnasium without great expense and, as a result many communities of small or moderate size have been deprived of adequate indoor arenas for sports contests, civic and educational performances, and the like.

The principal object of the present invention is to overcome the above mentioned difiiculties, and others, by providing a new type of building construction comprising a sunken playing floor and bleacher seats which rest didirectly upon the ground, or substantially so, with the floor and seats covered by a roof structure which is supported at or near the top level of the bleacher construction. The top level of, the bleacher seats may preferably be the natural ground level immediately outside of the building but a fill may be made to raise the level of the outside grade to that of the top level of the seats so that there will be a gentle slope away from the building. In any case the top level of the bleacher seats will be located at or slightly above the normal outside ground level.

With this form of construction, the building extends only to a limited extent, if any, above the ground level and no extensive supporting structure is required for the playing floor or the bleacher seats, so that the cost of construction is greatly reduced as compared with former practice, and there are no inaccessible spaces to constitute a fire hazard and no structures which may collapse in case of overloading. The spectators may enter the seats from above and leave by the same route, without.

interfering with persons on the playing floor and without obstructing the views of persons in the seats, and, in addition, exists may be installed behind the seats at the ground level so that the spectators may leave at many points and the seats may thus be quickly emptied at the The floor 220! of this vestibule rests directly on the ground.

2,761,181 Patented Sept. 4, 1956 conclusion or any contest or performance. Other objects and advantages of the invention relate to various features of construction and arrangement which will appear more fully hereinafter.

The nature of the invention will be understood from the following specification taken with the accompanying drawings in which one embodiment of the invention is illustrated. In the drawings,

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a gymnasium embodying the features of the present invention;

Fig. 2 shows a horizontal section through the upper part of the structure illustrated in Fig. 1, showing a plan view of the playing floor and the bleacher seats;

Fig. 3 shows a longitudinal vertical section taken on the line 33 of Fig. 2; V

Fig. 4 shows a vertical section taken transversely of the gymnasium on the line 4-4 of Fig. 2; and

Fig. 5 shows a partial vertical section taken on the line 55 of Fig. 2.

The gymnasium shown in the drawings comprises a horizontal rectangular playing floor 10 which may be partially or wholly surrounded by tiers of bleacher seats 11 which constitute an outwardly and upwardly extending tiered flange of a bowl-shaped monolithic arena of which the floor 10 and the seats 11 are the principal portions. The playing floor is separated from the bleacher seats. by an aisle or passage or out of bounds area 12 which is at substantially the same level as the floor and forms a continuation thereof. A horizontal platform or walk 13 extends completely around the bleacher seats at a level just above that of the top seat. All of these parts are supported directly upon the earth 14 and are formed of concrete or other plastic castable material which is poured in place in suitable forms after the proper excavation has been made. The stepped or tiered construction is preferably formed of concrete or other moldable material, rather than forming inclined surfaces or risers, and subsequently mounting the stepped seats thereon. The platform or walk 13 around the bleacher seats is substantially at the level of the grade of the ground surface 15 outside of the building. A slight fill may be desirable to cause the surface 15 to slope away from the building.

After the parts 10, 11, 12 and 13 have set and the forms have been removed, covers or chairs formed of wood or other non-metallic material or of combinations of such material and metal may be mounted on the seats 11 and upon the passages 12 and 13. Of course, the playing floor 10 will be covered at times by a covering suitable for the use to which it is to be put as, for example, a hardwood floor for basketball, and a covering of ice for hockey. Whether the floor and bleachers are covered or not, their underlying or base portions rest directly upon the earth and are preferably formed of concrete or other molded material. In the form shown, the bleacher seats extend along four sides of the playing floor and the ends of the sections which are parallel to the edges of the playing floor are connected by diagonal corner sections. Of course, the bleacher seats may extend along a lesser number of sides of the playing floor, but they preferably extend along at least three of those sides.

The playing floor and bleacher seats are enclosed by a rectangular wall and roof structure comprising vertical end walls 17 and 18, side walls 19 and a roof 20. The end wall 17 is provided with doors 21 leading from a vestibule 22 which extends outwardly from this end wall. This vestibule constitutes the main entrance to the building and has side walls 22a, a roof 22b and an end wall 22c in which are located a plurality of entrance doors 23.

The end walls 17, 18 and 22c rest on piers or foundation blocks 24 of concrete, stone or the like, which are embedded in the earth 14.

The roof 20 extends between the top portions of the two end Walls 17 and 18 and comprises two similar half sections 24M which are carried by a plurality of parallel truss structures 25 arranged opposite each other in pairs with opposite truss structures attached to each other along the center line of the roof by pin connections 26. These truss structures 25 extend transversely of the building and are supported along the sides of the building by concrete or stone piers or foundations 27 which are embedded in the earth 14 and which have the truss structures attached thereto by pin connections 28.

Each truss structure 25 comprises a base 25a of triangular shape, having one corner resting on a pier 27, and an arch or truss 25b which extends inwardly from the outwardly and upwardly directed diagonal edge of the base to form a support for the roof. A rigid frame or arch could be employed in place of this truss structure.

The roof structure is thus supported directly upon the ground and is comparatively low and flat while at the same time providing ample unobstructed head room above the playing floor and the bleacher seats.

The side walls 19 are carried by the truss structure of the roof and comprise a plurality of spandrel wall sections 30 which extend between the inner upright edges of adjacent truss bases 25a to form a continuous upright wall along each side of the gymnasium. These walls include a plurality of outwardly opening exit doors 31 which open from the platform 13 at the ground level so that spectators may make their egress from the seats at a plurality of points distributed around the arena without the necessity of descending any steps or ramps.

The top edges of the spandrel wall sections are joined with the outer edges of the roof sections a by a series of inclined cornice sections or soffits 33 which are located beneath the outer edges of the roof, preferably in the planes of the diagonal top edges of the truss bases a, as shown particularly in Fig. 1. This completes the formation of the side walls 19 which are carried by and constitute, in effect, parts of the roof structure. The inclined cornice sections 33 have the advantage that they discourage small boys and others from gaining access to the top of the roof. If desired the spandrel wall sections may be equipped with windows at intervals.

In the structural arrangement described above, wherein the bleacher seats, or the bases thereof, rest directly on the ground, there is no space beneath the seats for dessiug rooms and storage space and it may, therefore, be desirable to extend the building at one end, preferably the end opposite the entrance vestibule in order to provide these accessory rooms. If desired the entrance vestibule and the accessory rooms may be located at the same end of the structure. Such an extension 35 is shown in the drawings as being attached to the end wall 18 and located largely below the grade level 15 of the earth 14. This extension comprises side walls 35a, a roof 35b, and an end wall 35c which is supported upon piers or foundations 36. The floor 35d of the extension rests directly on the earth and may be at the same level as the playing fioor 10, as shown in Fig. 5, or at any other desired level. The roof 35c is shown as being located only slightly above the top outside grade line 15 of the earth. This construction of the extension 35 with its floor at the level of the playing floor requires some excavation or grading of the earth preliminary to or following its construction.

This location and arrangement of the extension 35 has the advantage that access may be had therefrom to the playing floor 10 directly and conveniently through a passage 37 which is provided through the bleacher seats and the end wall 18 beneath the platform 13, as shown in Figs. 2 and 5. The sides and top of this passage 37 where it extends through the bleacher seats may be guarded by inclined railings 38 and since it extends beneath the platform 13 its presence does not interfere with the movement of spectators to and from their seats. The space within the extension 35 may, of course, be divided into dressing rooms, storage rooms and the like.

In addition to the features which are illustrated in the drawings, the building construction of the present invention may be provided with other accessories and utilities including a drainage system beneath the playing floor for draining away the ground or seepage water in this area,

heating equipment for heating the entire space under the roof 20, as well as the dressing rooms, and lighting equipment for the entire interior of the structure.

One form of the improved gymnasium structure has been shown and described by way of illustration but it will be understood that it may be constructed in various forms and be modified in various ways without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. In the claims, the term playing floor is intended to include the floor of any area on which any contest or performance may be played or exhibited or which may be employed for dancing or other exercise or demonstration.

I claim:

1. A building structure comprising a playing floor on the bottom of a bowl-shaped artificial excavation having sides sloping upwardly and outwardly from said bottom, bleacher seats of a monolithic type construction supported directly upon the earths surface on said sides as a foundation and inclining upwardly therefrom around said playing floor, the top level of said bleacher seats being located substantially at the level of the finished surface of the earth immediately outside of the building, and a roof construction over said floor and said bleacher seats comprising a truss structure supported substantially at the level of the upper bleacher seats upon foundations constructed independently of the bleacher seat construction.

2. A building structure comprising a depressed playing floor, bleacher seats of a monolithic type of construction inclining upwardly from said playing floor, said floor and said bleacher seats resting directly upon the earth throughout their areas with no other supporting structure beneath them, a platform extending around the outer margin of said seats, said platform and the top level of said seats being substantially at the ground level of the earth around said building, an upright wall extending around said platform and having exit openings therein at the ground level, a roof over said floor and said bleacher seats, and a truss structure carrying said wall and said roof and supported by foundations in the earth outside of said platform.

3. A building structure comprising a depressed playing floor, bleacher seats of a monolithic type of construction inclining upwardly from said playing floor, said floor and said bleacher seats resting directly upon the earth throughout their areas with no other supporting structure beneath them, a platform extending around the outer margin of said seats, said platform and the top level of said seats being substantially at the natural ground level of the earth around said building, an upright wall extending around said platform and having exit openings therein at the ground level, a roof over said floor and said bleacher seats, and a truss structure carrying said wall and said roof and supported by foundations in the earth outside of said platform, said truss structure being located outside of said wall and inside of said roof.

4. A building structure comprising a depressed playing floor, bueach'er seats of a monolithic type of construction inclining upwardly from said floor and extending around at least three sides of said fioor,.said floor and said bleacher seats resting directly upon the earth throughout their areas with no other supporting structure beneath them, the top level of said seats being substantially at the ground level of the earth around said building, an upright wall extending around the" uppermost seats and having exit openings therein, a roof over said floor and said bleacher seats, a series of supporting piers embedded in the earth outwardly of said seats, and a plurality of truss structures comprising base portions resting on said piers with said wall supported thereby and arch portions extending inwardly from said base portions to support said roof.

5. A building structure comprising a depressed play ng floor, bleacher seats of a monolithic type of construction inclining upwardly from said floor and extending around at least three sides of said floor, said floor and said bleacher seats resting directly upon the earth throughout their areas with no other supporting structurebeneath them, the top level of said seats being substantially at the ground level of the earth around said building, an upright wall extending around the uppermost seats and having exit openings therein, a roof over said floor and said bleacher seats, a series of supporting piers embedded in the earth around the margin of said building, and a series of truss structures arranged in pairs at opposite sides of said building for supporting said wall and said roof, said truss structures each comprising a triangular base portion located outside of said wall and pivoted at one corner to one of said piers at the ground level and also an inwardly tapered arch portion secured to said base portion and extending inwardly beneath said roof with its extremity pivoted to the extremity of the arch portion of the other truss structure of the same pair.

6. A building structure comprising a depressed playing floor, bleacher seats of a monolithic type of construction inclining upwardly from said floor and extending around at least three sides of said floor, said floor and said bleacher seats resting directly upon the earth throughout their areas with no other supporting structure beneath them, the top level of said seats being substantially at the ground level of the earth around said building, an upright wall extending around the uppermost seats and having exit openings therein, a roof over said floor and said bleacher seats, a series of supporting piers embedded in the earth outwardly of said seats, and a plurality of truss structures comprising base portions resting on said piers with said wall supported thereby and arch portions extending inwardly from said base portions to support said roof, said wall comprising an outwardly directed cornice portion connected with said truss structures at the junctures of said base portions and said arch portions.

7. A building structure comprising a playing floor depressed below the surface level of the earth surrounding the building, an upwardly and outwardly inclined monolithic structure supported in its entirety directly on the earth and acting to retain the earth surrounding said floor, the uppermost portion of said inclined structure being substantially at said surface level, a roof structure covering the entire area of said playing floor and said upwardly inclined structure, said roof structure comprising self-sustaining trusses extending over said floor and said structure,

1 and supports embedded in the earth around said structure for supporting the ends of said trusses at said level, said trusses and their supports being formed to provide a minimum adequate clearance above said structure adjacent said supports and a minimum adequate clearance free of tie-rods and other obstructions over said playing floor.

8. A building structure comprising a playing floor depressed below the surface level of the earth surrounding the building, an upwardly and outwardly inclined monolithic concrete structure supported in its entirety directly upon the earth and provided with steps on its upper side, a platform extending around the outer margin of said structure at said surface level, a roof structure covering the entire area of said playing floor and said inclined structure as well as said platform, said roof structure comprising a plurality of self-sustaining trusses extending over said floor and said inclined structure and over said platform, and supports carried in the earth around said platform for supporting said trusses at said level, said trusses and their supports being formed to provide minimum adequate headroom over said platform and a minimum adequate clearance free of tie-rods and other obstructions over said playing floor.

9. A building structure comprising a playing floor depressed below the surface level of the earth surrounding the building, an upwardly and outwardly inclinedmonolithic concrete structure supported in its entirety directly upon the earth and provided with steps on its upper side, a platform extending around the outer margin of said structure at said surface level, a wall extending around said building on the outer side of said platform and having door openings therein at said surface level, a roof structure covering the entire area of said playing floor and said inclined structure as well as said platform, said roof structure comprising a plurality of self-sustaining trusses extending over said floor and said inclined structure and over said platform, and supports carried in the earth around said platform for supporting said trusses at said level, said trusses and their supports being formed to provide the minimum headroom over said platform determined by said door openings and to provide the minimum adequate clearance free of obstructions over said playing floor.

10. A building structure comprising, a playing floor on the bottom of a bowl-shaped artificial excavation having sides sloping upwardly and outwardly from said bottom, tiers of bleacher seats inclined upwardly and outwardly from said floor and extending around the entirety of at least three sides thereof, the base portions of said floor and said seats being of molded concrete resting respectively throughout their areas directly upon the earth on the bottom and sloping sides of said excavation and the top tier of said seats being located substantially at the grade level immediately outside of the building, a roof over said floor and said bleacher seats, and a structure carrying said roof and supported only at said grade level behind certain of the seats in said top tier.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 879,520 Chantigney et al Feb. 18, 1908 1,088,239 Paine Feb. 24, 1914 1,444,360 Randall Feb. 6, 1923 1,682,679 Lawton Aug. 28, 1928 1,795,331 Davidson Mar. 10, 1931 1,963,060 Abt June 19, 1934 2,030,029 Hadden et al. Feb. 4, 1936 2,390,418 Brown Dec. 4, 1945 FOREIGN PATENTS 279,149 Germany Oct. 2, 1914 20,307 Australia of 1934 OTHER REFERENCES Printed publication, Engineering News-Record, Feb. 3, 1938, pp. 173, 174 and 175.

Edgebends and Kneebends, published by Lukenweld, Inc., Coatsville, Pa. Copy received in Patent Otfice Oct.1l, 1940, page 3.

Engineering News Record, August 26, 1943, page 77.

Concrete, October 1950, page 30.

Engineering Record, March 28, 1914,. pages 369 to 372.

Compressed Air Magazine, September 1936, pages 5119 to 5123.

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US1088239 *1 Mar 191324 Feb 1914Robert PaineFloatable foundation for buildings.
US1444360 *17 Aug 19226 Feb 1923Burton Randall AlexanderAmphitheater or stadium
US1682679 *3 Mar 192728 Aug 1928Lawton Charles BSubterranean building
US1795331 *9 Apr 192810 Mar 1931Louis DavidsonBuilding construction
US1963060 *24 Dec 193019 Jun 1934Abt Hugo A FArch construction
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US2390418 *10 Aug 19444 Dec 1945Charles J AngellBuilding structure
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6042490 *24 Jul 199728 Mar 2000Lenhart; Christopher W.Systems and methods of playing games in three dimensions
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/8, D25/12, D25/58, 52/169.6, D25/63, 52/169.1
International ClassificationE04H3/14
Cooperative ClassificationE04H3/14
European ClassificationE04H3/14