Topping Out Tradition

Topping out of the Martin Army Community Hospital, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s first-ever design-build hospital project. Read more about the project in the article “Building up the Fort” from our February 2014 issue. (Photo: Thornton Tomasetti) 

Christmas trees abound this time of year, but have you ever wondered why they’re habitually perched atop of steel buildings? It’s a time-honored practice called “topping out” — when the last piece of structural steel, along with a Christmas tree and often an American flag, is placed atop a structure during construction.

Take a look at the origins of topping out in the article “Why a Christmas Tree?” from our December 2000 issue.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us at Modern Steel Construction. We’ll be back with a fresh Steel in the News post in the new year. Thank you for your readership!