Monitor on Lone Hall, Arsenal Technical High School

Monitor. A monitor is a raised section found straddling the ridge of a roof. The monitor commonly imitates the roof form of the primary structure, but includes full-length windows on its vertical walls. Monitors might be found on the roof above a larger interior space, which can provide additional light and ventilation. The windows typically include openings or louvers to allow ventilation, in addition to providing additional sunlight into the space below.

The first example of a monitor is found on the roof of Lone Hall (1922) on the campus of Arsenal Technical High School (1500 East Michigan Street). This monitor is a typical presentation, with a rectangular structure extending above the ridge of the gable roof, featuring windows lining the north and south monitor walls. Lone Hall was first used as a power plant for the campus, which explains the need for natural sunlight and ventilation into the building’s interior.  The monitor features an identical roof to the primary building and extends across the entire gabled roof ridge.

Barrel Roof with Monitor on Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University

Monitor Detail, Hinkle (Butler) Fieldhouse, Butler University

Another monitor in an atypical setting is found on the roof of the 1928 Hinkle (Butler) Fieldhouse (510 West 49th Street). The monitor rests on the barrel roof, extending upwards from the primary roof and features large windows on the north and south walls of the monitor. The monitor continues the barrel form on its own roof. The windows span from end to end of the structure, providing ample natural light in the large basketball arena inside the Fieldhouse.

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We opened the monitor windows when we realized the air conditioning inside the gymnasium wasn’t working correctly.