Architecture: Strong as Metal

MHHM is celebrating Architecture month! We are exploring the built environment and features you may walk past everyday but may never have noticed before.

Have you seen this on a building? It can be the shape of a star, an x, or an S like this one but it does need to be made of metal. What is it? Why is it there?

Any guesses?

It is called an anchor-plate also known as a wall washer or wall anchor. It was used in the past to connect exterior walls to door and roof beams using a metal tie rod to provide extra support. Brick buildings, like Macculloch Hall, remain stable under the force called compression but could bulge or bow due to weathering and a second force called tension. The anchor-plates spread the tension load across several bricks.

Metal is a building material that remains strong under tension. Together brick, metal anchor plates and tie rods create sturdy building construction.

For young learners:

  • Read or listen to the story of The Three Little Pigs and visit for an educational activity.

For middle school students:

For adult learners:

Topic: Celebrating Architecture
Age / Level: Elementary, Middle

Architecture: Strong as Metal Videos