Postprint version. Published in ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Volume 129, Issue 3, March 1, 2003, pages 278-285.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9445(2003)129:3(278).
Civil engineering structures are part of our cultural heritage. The story of who we are can be told, in part, by what we have built. There have been pivotal moments in civil engineering design history wherein a master engineer creates a pioneering structure. One major example is Anton Tedesko’s 1936 Hershey Ice Arena, the first large-scale thin shell concrete roof in the United States. Tedesko left all his papers, including the original design and analysis calculations of the Hershey shell, to the Princeton Maillart Archives. These documents, as well as other archival materials and photographs, provide insight into the design history of Hershey, and the transfer of thin shell technology to America. In this paper, we retrace the design and analysis calculations performed by Tedesko, and compare them to modern computer models. We show that the hand calculations are sufficiently accurate, and in fact are necessary for initial form finding. We close by pointing out the enormous impact that this design had in thin shell concrete construction, and argue for the preservation of this remarkable structure.