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UVA Engineer Defends Old Cabell Hall Arch System - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Engineer Defends Old Cabell Hall Arch System

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A University of Virginia structural engineer is setting the record straight about a university landmark.

An author from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently shared the story that the tile arch system, known as Guastavino, under Old Cabell Hall had mysteriously failed during construction back in the 1890s.

That prompted Ben Hays to find out why. He sifted through UVA records and found that the vault had not failed. Instead, a crane had dropped a roof truss through the vault.


"It also sort of for Guastavino vaulting as far as we know - this vault and no vault has failed during construction so it sort of gives Guastavino vaulting a one-up it didn't have before," says structural engineer Ben Hays.

Hays presented his findings at MIT earlier this month and to the UVA community Thursday afternoon.

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