...The problems facing Continental renovation stem not so much from its original construction but from the advancement in building codes and fire saftey regulations on skyscrapers since 1930.
For example, the steel and concrete superstructure of the building was rated in excellent shape after 44 years and the exterior of the building, despite being dirty, is in generally good condition. The walls, windows, and roof have held up over the 44-year span.
But the building was not designed with any consideration for earthquakes or todays's stringent fire saftey regulations on high-rise buildings, the report said.
The defects in the building's interior, according to the survey, include:
(1) All the ceiling tiles are made of combustible materials.
(2) Of five elevators in the building, four are operable and original 1930 equipment. They require manual operators and are unventilated. Ventilation is required in the St. Louis code today.
(3) The building totally lacks either a fire alarm system or voice communications system. Stairways between floors are not continuous.
(4) There is no emergency power system to operate essential equipment in the event of a power failure or fire.
(5) The existing lighting and power system lacks sufficient capacity to meet present day standards.
In addition to the code violations, the study found that the building is heated by steam radiation and all equipment is 1930 vintage; steam pipes show evidence of condsiderable leakage,; a major portion of the building's insulation is in poor condition; and a 1936 air conditioning system is obsolete...