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The King Bee
By Capt. A.N. Olsen CEC, USN (Ret.). ISBN: 142511533-0; Trafford Publishing 351 pages; $24.94

The King Bee

This biography of Admiral Ben Moreell, founder of the U.S. Navy Seabees, is designed to fill the void that was found when the author, a retired Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, went looking for such a book. “After searching for a biography of the ‘King Bee’ and coming up empty, I decided if no one else was going to write one, I had better do it. Far too much time had already gone by, and it was a story that needed to be told,” says A.N.Olsen.

A native of St. Louis and a graduate of Washington University, Ben Moreell had many achievements and firsts, but his founding of the Seabees immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 is by far the dominant element of his life story, says Olsen. Following the loss of many of the civilian construction workers on Wake Island and others project sites after the Japanese attack, Moreell “quickly decided the only logical alternative would be to continue the work using experienced construction men with military training and organized as part of the fleet,” says Olsen. But chain-of-command issues and regulations were an obstacle.

Moreell overcame these issues through military diplomacy that led to awarding command authority to CEC officers. “This marked the breakout by the CEC from the rest of the Navy’s staff corps ‘clerks and jerks,’” says Olsen. “They were now part of the fleet.... Ben Moreell’s foresight and dogged insistence on establishing a complete CEC command structure led to the respected position they enjoy today.”

The Parking Garage—Design and Evolution of a Modern Urban Form
By Shannon Sanders McDonald, Urban Land Institute, 2007, 312 pages

The Parking Garage—Design and Evolution of a Modern Urban Form

In today’s urban environment most of our concerns are for the air we breath, the food we eat, and the buildings in which we live and work. So why take time to study the history, evolution and the architectural and urban development of the parking garage? Knowing that most people wouldn’t want a large, imposing, desolate and often stark structure of this type in their backyard, the fact remains that the parking garage is still a crucial building form that lies at the intersection of architecture, transportation, sustainability and urban design.

The author has provided a study of best practices in the design, development, and construction of parking garages, as well as presenting a fresh look at how to accommodate cars in the built environment. Readers will learn how the garage is central to the arrival and departure experience for most buildings and cities.

Examining the subject from an architect’s perspective, this groundbreaking book chronicles the evolution of parking garage innovations, from early elevator, ramp and self-park designs for various vehicle types through the sustainable structures of today and tomorrow. It also explores structure and materials from an engineering perspective, including safety, construction, use of steel and developments in concrete and much more. There are hundreds of photographs illustrating how well-designed parking structures can positively affect both project success and the broader urban environment.



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