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January 26, 2011

40-foot glass facade going in for space shuttle gallery

Images courtesy of SRG Partnership [enlarge]

Tomorrow, construction workers plan to hoist two steel cross braces that will hold the angled, 40-foot tall glass facade of a new building in South Seattle that could house one of the space shuttles.

The cross braces are made up of seven x-shaped sections. Three will be welded together to make a 45-foot cross brace and four will be welded to make a 60-foot cross brace.

A crane will raise the sections into position, where they'll be tilted at an angle and held with guide wires as they're secured to the foundation with large bolts. The diagonal grid will hold glazing made of parallelogram-shaped pieces of glass.

The Museum of Flight is building the 15,000-square-foot gallery on the west side of East Marginal Way South.

NASA is winding down its space shuttle program and deciding what to do with four of the shuttles.

B&B Fabricators of Arlington fabricated the cross brace sections, which are made of 10-inch steel tubes. Apex Steel will erect the cross braces for the building, which was designed by SRG Partnership. Sellen is the general contractor. The Seneca Group is managing development of the gallery.

The total project cost is $11 million.

Construction of the gallery began last fall. The team plans to place structural steel for the entire gallery in six days. The Museum of Flight must complete the overall project by July to be considered for getting one of the shuttles.