Organizations / Degenkolb Engineers
John Gould founded what is now Degenkolb Engineers in 1940 and brought Henry Degenkolb on as Chief Engineer in 1946 after the two worked together designing structures for the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s Degenkolb Engineers designed many parking garages in San Francisco and in the 1970’s and 1980’s Degenkolb Engineers designed many downtown high rises in San Francisco, including the International Building on California Street and the Bank of California Building (now Bank of America) at 400 California Street. Degenkolb Engineers also pioneered the use of eccentrically braced frames.
Henry Degenkolb was a self-proclaimed “earthquake chaser” and thought it important to see how structures performed in actual earthquakes. Henry Degenkolb advocated for stronger seismic code requirements and authored numerous papers on the topic. He participated in many of the committees and tasks forces that changed the way engineers design for seismic forces today. Degenkolb Engineers continues this tradition of earthquake chasing and active involvement in professional societies today. The firm has sent teams of engineers to major recent seismic events including Christchurch, Mexico City, and South Korea. Also stemming from Henry Degenkolb’s precedent, company engineers are actively involved in code writing committees and research branches including the Applied Technology Council (ATC), the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the American Concrete Institute and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Today, Degenkolb Engineers is an industry recognized leader in structural engineering and seismic design, providing services in the realm of healthcare, higher education, science and technology, as well as forensics engineering, steel erection engineering, and more. Award winning seismic strengthening/retrofit projects include the Caltrans District 4 Headquarters and the Hotel Nikko, both of which are steel moment frame buildings with pre-Northridge connections. Degenkolb designed the new CPMC Cathedral Hill Medical Center, which is the first structure in the United States to use viscous wall dampers. Degenkolb was also the steel erection engineer for 181 Fremont, designing unique assemblies and analysis tools to address complex issues faced by the steel subcontractor during construction.
- Bank of America Building