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Hard Hat Tour: Rubber Pads

RJ: What was that noise?

Rubber padsFB: That was the subway! Isn't it loud? When they were drilling down to the bedrock for the foundation they heard the rumblings of the subway that runs below here. That word got back to Artec, the theater consultant, and they came up with the idea to build the two theaters on rubber pads. So the buildings are actually sitting on rubber pads. So they had to lay the foundation, lay the rubber pads, finish the foundation, then put the steel on it. It was pretty neat to watch that. Nobody in Philadelphia has ever done that.

RJ: So the rubber pads make it so you can't hear the subway?

FB: Yes, they stop the noise of the vibrations from the subway from interrupting the music in the performances.

RJ: Are the pads really heavy?

FB: Yes. I was actually very concerned about that from a safety standpoint because the pads had to be brought in by hand. So I was afraid that the workers might get back injuries handling the pads, but we were very lucky that didn't happen.

RJ: How many pads did they have to use?

FB: There are 225 pads under Verizon Hall, and 120 pads are under Perelman Theater.

RJ: Are the pads hard or soft rubber?

FB: They are almost like a radial tire with layers of rubber and metal ... so they are very hard. The nickname for them around the construction site with the workers was "hockey pucks."