Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3343301 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 26, 1967
Filing dateNov 23, 1964
Priority dateNov 23, 1964
Publication numberUS 3343301 A, US 3343301A, US-A-3343301, US3343301 A, US3343301A
InventorsPhilip Adelman
Original AssigneePhilip Adelman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inclined planter and retaining wall construction
US 3343301 A
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 26, 19 67 P. ADELMAN INCLINED PLANTER ANDBETAINING WALL CONSTRUCTION Filed Nov. 23, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. -3

INVENTOR. PHILIP ADELNAN BY 9 fi z g ATTORNEYS P. ADELMAN Sept. 26,1967

INCLINED PLANTER AND RETAINING WALL CONSTRUCTION Filed Nov. 23, 1964 4 l 3 SheetsSheet' 2 FIG. 8

H mm n mm Wm L ATTORNEYS P. ADELMAN Sept. 26, 1967 INCLINED FLANTER AND RETAINING- WALL CONSTRUCTION s Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 23, 1964 FIG. /7

INVENTOR. PHILIP ADELMAN 'BY m M W ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,343,301 1N CLINED PLANTER AND RETAINING WALL CONSTRUCTION Philip Adelman, 8677 Evergreen St., Apt. D, South Gate, Calif. 90280 Filed Nov. 23, 1964, Ser. No. 413,172 22 Claims. (Cl. 47-33) This invention relates to wall structures, and more particularly to retaining and planter wall constructions for installation on sloping banks or hillsides.

It is often required, in hillside construction, to provide a means for limiting soil erosion and earth movement. It is also often desired for landscaping reasons to install planter units along the sloping bank while at the same time protecting against soil erosion.

Retaining walls have therefore been developed, as evidenced by Pat. No. 2,911,794 to Pearson, to serve as both retaining wall units and decorative structures at the same time. As shown in the Pearson patent, a poured in place concrete terraced wall construction is provided by separate tiers or wall segments which are relatively low in height, but which are successively implanted so as to be stepped up the side of a hill. Each wall segment runs horizontally along a contour line of the hill, but zigzags or forms some other tortuous path along this horizontal contour line. The angles formed by the zigzag are opposite in direction for the successive steps, so that the successive wall segments meet at spaced apart points, at which they are joined together. The successive wall segments define enclosed interior spaces which may then be used as planter boxes. In this type of construction, each tier or Wall segment is made in unitary fashion, and of a V- or U-shaped configuration, and in the Pearson patent the separate tiers are joined together at points of intersection by pins or other suitable means. As taught in the subsequent patent to Frehner, No. 2,960,797, the joinder may be etfected by the provision of notches in one of the intersecting wall segments, into which mating protrusions in the adjacent wall segment may be set.

It will be noted that in the Frehner patent construction the employment of a U- or V-shaped block having fixed sides predetermines the zigzag pattern, and the slope at which a terraced retaining wall of this type may be installed. Accordingly, if the slope of the hillside is less or more than the predetermined slope, the hillside must be graded to receive the wall construction. This type of operation thereby becomes substantially more expensive.

Constructions of these types are subject to substantial cost and installation problems because of the type of construction or block which is utilized. In the Pearson patent, the individual Wall segments are formed by being poured in place in a form assembled at the hillside; whereas in the Frehner patent, the individual wall segments are formed with separate V- or U-shaped blocks. The V- or U-shaped blocks are extremely heavy, of the order of 80 to 100 lbs., and therefore substantially more than can conveniently be handled by one person. Accordingly, these types of terraced wall constructions have not realized their full potential, because of the expense and inconvenience of special hillside grading, field installation, and because of the bulkiness and weight of the units, even where cost is not a factor. As a practical matter, however, cost is always a predominant factor, and the price of the units constructed in the manner indicated is substantially greater for both fabrication and shipping than would be realized if the blocks were smaller sized units which could be mass produced economically by standard masonry block-making machines.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to pro vide terraced planter and retaining wall arrangement.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a retaining wall construction which is amenable to installation on any of a wide range of hillside slopes without requiring extensive excavation or backfill.

A further object of the invention is to provide a retaining wall construction 'for hillsides which is low in cost and easy to install, and which protects against soil erosion and concurrently provides a planter box construction.

A further object of the present invention is to provide improved blocks for use in terraced retaining wall constructions.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved and simplified method for erecting a terraced retaining wall.

These and other objects are achieved in accordance with the present invention, by a terraced planter and retaining wall construction characterized by the use of individual standardized blocks of substantially rectangular or non-angled form. The blocks are adjustably positioned and inter-joined in a manner such that they form a unitary construction of a selectively variable height to horizontal distance ratio. Therefore, the slope of the construction may be variably conformed to any hillside slope within a useful range.

Blocks constructed in accordance with the invention are essentially rectangular units, or units which may be encompassed Within a rectangular outline of relatively small width and are free of sharp reentrant angles such that they may be made on standard commercial masonry block-making machines. Further, they are small and light enough to be handled by a single individual, and may alternatively be constructed of metal or a material other than the masonry or concrete. Each block typically includes means for adjustably interlocking both ends of the block to adjacent units.

In one form of retaining wall construction in accordance with the invention, the slope of the wall is minutely or infinitely variable throughout a selected range. In this construction, adjacent block elements are laid in overlapping end-to-end relation, and pinned together by means which permit the angles of the blocks relative to each other to be varied in a scissors-type action. As the wall construction is assembled, however, each end of a block is pinned together with the ends of at least three other blocks, such that the entire structure becomes unified and locked together at whatever slope is chosen. Diamond, rectangular and hexagonal patterns may be constructed using a single shaped block or various combinations of blocks.

In another arrangement in accordance with the invention, an incrementally or finitely variable change of slope is achieved. Again, the blocks may be of essentially rectangular form or have a form definable within a rectangular outline of limited width. The lengths of individual block segments are effectively varied by changing the point of intersection between adjacent blacks of successive levels without varying the angle defined by the blocks at each level. At the points of intersection, inter locking pins may be utilized to provide anchoring of both ends of each block, and to unify the structure.

A preferred form of block is provided having generally cylindrical end sections that permit free pivoting of the blocks relative to each other, and also provide superior dirt retention. This form of block additionally may include a number of spaced pivot holes, and two end shoulders, permitting great variety in installation.

Methods in accordance with the invention utilize block constructions as heretofore described, and permit the ready assembly of unitary structures without the need for extensive excavation or backfilling.

A better understanding of the invention may be had by reference to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a frontal perspective view of a fragment of a terraced planter and retaining wall construction in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side-sectional view of the relative disposition of three successive blocks of an ascending row in the arrangement of FIG. 1 showing the contained horizontal planter areas;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a portion of the arrangement of FIG. 1, showing a single enclosed area and the manner of varying the configuration thereof to match a hillside slope;

FIG. 4 is a side view of one standard block shape such as is used in the arrangements of FIGS. l3 and FIGS. 6, 8 and 9;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the block of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 and FIG. 9 are frontal perspective views of portions of different retaining wall constructions having hexagonal planter units in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a different form of standard block unit which is additionally used in the arrangement of FIG. 6 and FIG. 8;

FIG. 8 is a side-sectional view showing the sloped and horizontal portions of the contained planting areas for the constructions in FIG. 6 and FIG. 9;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of yet another terraced retaining wall construction in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a different form of standard block unit used in the construction of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a different form of standard block unit used in an arrangement similar to FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary perspective view of a preferred terraced wall construction in accordance with the invention and using two types of blocks;

FIG. 14 is a top view of a first type of block used in the arrangement of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a front view of the block of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a top view of a second type of block used in the arrangement of FIG. 13;

FIG. 17 is a front view of the block of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a top view of an alternative standard block shape which may be used in the arrangements of FIGS. 1-3 and FIGS. 8 and 9; and,

FIG. 19 is a front view of the block of FIG. 18.

One arrangement in accordance with the invention, referring now to FIGS. 15, uses blocks of one standard type to form the elemental units of a terraced wall construction of infinitely variable slope. By infinitely variable is meant that an infinite number of adjustments may be made between a relatively shallow slope and a relatively steep slope, which slope constitutes the limiting conditions within which this type of terraced construction is advantageously employed. For lesser and greater slopes, other types of retaining wall or decorative construction will ordinarily be preferred.

Terraced wall constructions in accordance with the invention utilizes standardized block elements of any of a number of forms, as described below. In the arrangement of FIGS. 1-3, a single block such as is shown in front view in FIG. 4 and in top view in FIG. 5 is used throughout. The block 10 has a rectangular central body portion with extending end shoulders 11, 12; the shoulder ends being essentially semi-circular to allow freedom of movement and a maximum degree of angularity relative to adjacent blocks. The end shoulders 11, 12 are half the height of the blocks, and symmetrical, in order that the block may also be used in an inverted position. Vertical holes 14, 15 are centrally disposed in each of the end shoulders. These blocks 10 are definable within a rectangular outline of limited width or depth and may be fabricated by commercial masonry block-making ma- .4 chines on a mass production basis, from simple conforming molds.

Because it is desirable to have a relatively massive structure for a terraced wall construction, the cost and wearing characteristics of concrete dictate its use for the usual installation. It will be recognized, however, that other materials including wood, metal shapes, aluminum, foam and other types of plastic, may be utilized in substitution for or in conjunction with the concrete blocks. The wall construction may either be made entirely of blocks of one selected material, or block units of different materials may be used within a single wall construction. When made of concrete, it is advantageous that the individual blocks be of a size which can conveniently be handled by one person, or in the range of from 20 to 50 lbs. Typically, therefore, the block 10 illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 will be of the order of 8 in. high 16 in. long and 2 /2 in. width, or of the order of 12 in. high, 24 in. long and 2 /2 in. width.

In the assembly of a terraced wall of the type shown in FIGS. 13, the blocks 10 are laid along generally horizontal contour lines on an existing slope 20. Horizontally extending wall segments are formed by alternately inverting the blocks 10 which are displaced along a given horizontal contour line. The blocks 10 are disposed in zigzag fashion, so that the end shoulder 11 on one block mates with an end shoulder 12 on the adjacent block, with the holes 14, 15 being in alignment. The adjoining wall segments are interlocked to provide a completely unified structure of a slope which matches that of the hill.

The points of inflection of vertically adjacent walls are disposed in overlapping relation, with the included angle at the point of inflection facing in a direction opposite to that of the adjacent wall segment. Thus the generally horizontal Wall segment extends stepwise up the slope 20. When viewed in top plan, like diamond-shaped areas 22 are thus included within each set of four blocks 10, with the lower pair of blocks which bound on a planter area 22 defining the retaining wall portion for that particular area. To dispose the horizontal wall segments at a slope appropriate for the hill, a hand tool or other device is used to dig out only that amount of material needed to receive the blocks 10. Thereafter, the diamondshaped planter areas 22 may be filled if desired so as to be horizontal for planter box uses.

Note that for a given planter area 22, the uppermost edges of the two lower blocks 10 are in the same horizontal plane as the lower edges of the upper blocks. The included angle on each side of the blocks 10 may be varied in a scissors action (see FIG. 3 particularly) so that the extent of displacement in the horizontal direction relative to the hill may be increased or decreased, even though the height-to-length relationship may be minutely or infinitely varied, matching the existing slope 20 of the hillside. Despite the changes in the included angle, the uppermost edges of the two lower blocks 10 and the lower edges of the upper blocks remain in the same horizontal plane. The opposed points of inflection of successive horizontal wall segments are placed in vertical alignment, such that the holes 14, 15 of four different blocks 10 may receive a single pin 24. As is evident from FIG. 2 particularly, the result is that each end shoulder 11, 12 of a given block is mechanically coupled to the end shoulders of three other different blocks. Both ends of each block 10 are therefore anchored and no part of the assembly is free to move except at the very edges of the assembly where blocks may be restrained in various manners, such as by filler blocks and anchor rods. If desired for greater rigidity, the pins 24 can be made of a greater length, and may have pointed ends, so that they may be driven to a desired depth in the ground, as shown in phantom in the view of FIG. 2. Pins 24 which are used in this fashion would therefore additionally serve as anchor rods for the assembly. The planter areas 22 may be used for growth of vegetation 25.

In this type of unitary structure, the terrace effect acts to check surface mud slides or soil erosion caused by rain. The stability of the slope is materially enhanced by the manner and the amount of mass added to its surface. Moreover, with anchor rods, any excess local loads can be distributed to the adjacent units in all directions, which further adds to the stability of the hillside. The fact that the blocks may be prefabricated and handled as single units results in a substantial reduction in the field labor which is needed. Field labor charges are additionally kept at a minimum because the wall footing, excavation and backfill required by conventional retaining walls is eliminated. There is a further benefit, in that the absence of appreciable structural disturbance of the natural slope of the hillside provides much greater stability than prior art devices of this nature. The economic restrictions imposed by prior fixed block shapes and configurations are substantially reduced with this invention.

A different infinitely or minutely variable type of terraced wall construction in accordance with the invention, referring now to FIGS. 6-8, is achieved by combining the type of blocks having symmetrical, generally semi-circular end shoulders (FIGS. 4 and 5) with a block 26 having a single, generally semi-circular end shoulder 27, the other end of which may also be semicircular (FIG. 7). As seen in FIG. 6, this construction provides hexagonal enclosed planter areas 32 (when viewed in top plan) and a different type of wall segment configuration. It will be appreciated that the generally semi-circular end surfaces may be varied within limits to provide like freedom from restraint and may include other curvature and many sided shapes as well.

The block 26 having a single semi-circular end shoulder (FIG. 7) includes hinge pin holes 28, 29 in each end. Hinge pins 30, which may be extended into the ground as anchor rods if desired, are used to couple the associated end of a block to each of two adjacent blocks in this construction.

The blocks 26 having single semi-circular end shoulders are placed serially in ascending fashion along a line normal to the horizontal contour line of the slope. The blocks 26 along these vertically ascending lines are disposed in head-to-tail overlapping fashion, so that the height-tolength relationship is determined by the height of the block 26 and by the angle of the various legs of the zigzag to the ascending line along the slope. The end semicircular shoulder portions 27 are disposed at each point of inflection in a zigzag, to receive the blocks 10, which act as cross-members, and two of which define the remaining sides for each hexagonal area. Thus for each hexagonal area, the top surfaces of the two angled blocks 26 and the interconnecting laterally disposed block 10, and the bottom surfaces of the remaining two angled block 26 lie substantially in a single horizontal plane. The remaining cross-member 10 of the hexagon is stepped upwardly, forming the base of the immediately superior hexagon as well.

The hinge pins 30 join each block 10 to two other blocks 26 at each end, thereby firmly anchoring each individual block, and making one unitary structure of the whole. As previously described, the included angles between the blocks 26 which meet at a point of inflection in each zigzag line may be varied infinitely within a given range to match the slope of a bill. It is feasible to place the blocks 26 so that they lie along a single ascending line without zigzagging thereby forming a rectangular configuration when viewed in top plan.

' FIG. 9 is a terraced wall construction in accordance With the invention similar to that shown in FIG. 6; the difference being that a single symmetrical type block 10 is used in its construction and the sequence of assembly requires that the cross-members be placed first before ascending zigzag blocks are positioned.

Variations in the joinder mechanisms, as well as in the configurations of the blocks themselves, may be utilized to form other types of terraced wall constructions in accordance with the invention. One such construction is shown in the arrangement of FIG. 10, the single blocks for which are shown in the perspective view in FIG. 11. These blocks 33 are symmetrical and of generally rectangular shape, although they may be tapered, but are essentially semi-circular or rounded at the ends to provide freedom from binding against adjacent blocks. Each block contains vertical apertures 34, 35 therethrough centered in the semi-circular or rounded ends. Wall constructions are formed from blocks 33 of this nature by placing the blocks in zigzag fashion along successive horizontal contour lines. Adjacent ends of each block 33 lying in a given horizontal zone are joined by U-shaped or laterally tied pairs of hinge pins 38 having parallel legs which extend through the apertures 34, 35 in the blocks 33 so as to mechanically couple one end of each block to the three adjacent blocks 33. Thus, starting from the lowest tier, a selected sharpness of deviation is achieved by choosing the zigzag to match the hillside slope, and as successive tiers are added the structure becomes built up in a rigid manner.

Another single block, as shown in the perspective view of FIG. 12, may be utilized to form a terraced wall construction as arranged in FIG. 10. These blocks 40 may also be essentially rectangular in shape but have quarterround ends. Vertical grooves 41, 42 adjacent the ends are semi-circular. When in position the quarter-round ends of adjacent blocks are in contact with and the U-shaped or laterally tied pair of hinge pins, such as pins 38, mechanically couple one end of each block to three adjacent blocks when the vertical legs of the hinge pins are nested into the semi-circular grooves 41, 42.

A preferred arrangement for the hexagonal geometrical shape in accordance with the invention is shown in FIG. 13, the blocks for which are shown in FIGS. 14-17. The terraced wall construction of FIG. 13 utilizes both symmetrical blocks 50 (FIGS. 14 and 15) and asymmetrical blocks 60 (FIGS. 16 and 17). This same hexagonal configuration may also be constructed by utilizing only symmetrical blocks 50 in the manner block 10 is used in FIG. 9. Other configurations may be defined, however, inasmuch as a diamond shaped pattern the same as that shown in FIG. 1 may be achieved by using only symmetrical blocks 50, whereas a rectangular pattern may be provided using only symmetrical blocks 50, or a combination of symmetrical blocks 50 and asymmetrical blocks 60. Where the asymmetrical blocks 60 are used, means are included as described below for further varying the height-to-length ratio, and therefore the slope of the assembled structure.

In the arrangement of FIG. 13, variations in slope are achieved by varying the angles at which the blocks 60 lie to the ascending direction along the slope, similarly to the arrangement of FIG. 6 and FIG. 9. The blocks 50 and 60 are constructed, however, to provide a number of other features. Thus the symmetrical block 50 has a tapered central section and cylindrical end shoulders 52, 53 when viewed in plan; both features allowing increased pivoting of the blocks. The end shoulders 52, 53 protrude to improve the retention of dirt within the planter areas. Vertically upstanding apertures 55, 56 are centrally disposed in each of the half height end shoulders 52, 53. As best seen in FIG. 14, a portion of the vertical surfaces on the inset portions of the blocks may be slightly angled in concave fashion to permit increased pivoting of adjacent blocks. This configuration maintains structural integrity while conserving some weight in the individual block, although bearing surfaces are provided on the top and bottom portions of the end shoulders 52, 53 for contact with facing surfaces of associated blocks with hinge pins 30.

The asymmetrical blocks 60 (FIGS. 16 and 17) also have an elongated central portion which is tapered at both ends in an essentially continuously curved fashion. The

half height cylindrical end portion 62 includes a central aperture 63 in the manner of the symmetrical blocks 50. The opposite halves of the blocks 60 include a terminating cylinder as an end section 65, which includes a vertical centrally located aperture 66, and may have an inwardly spaced enlarged portion 68 of cylindrical form. This section includes a vertical central aperture 69. Additionally, another pair of inwardly spaced apertures 71, 72 is also provided.

Referring again to FIG. 13, it will be observed that the slope of the structure may also be changed, either separately or additionally, by effectively shortening the length of the blocks 60 through use of one of the inwardly positioned apertures 69, 71, 72. Therefore, the angles of the zigzag legs may be changed, or their length, or both the angles and the length of these legs may be changed, to provide infinitely variable or incrementally variable slopes. When the blocks 60 lie in a direction normal to the lateral, the result is of course a rectangular pattern when viewed in top plan, the slope of which is determined solely by the placement of the intersection point relative to the available apertures 66, 69, 71 or 72 in the asymmetrical block 60.

Where desirable for manufacturing, installation or economic reasons, only single symmetrical blocks 80 (FIGS. 18 and 19) may be utilized in accordance with the invention to provide any configuration previously mentioned and also to incorporate the versatility of block 60 as used in the configuration of FIG. 13 to further vary the slope of the structure. Because of its adaptability to use in a variety of ways and retaining wall construction, this is the preferred form of block in accordance with the invention.

The symmetrical block 80 has half height cylindrical end shoulders 82, 83 and centrally disposed vertical apertures 85, 86 therethrough in the manner of the symmetrical block 50. Inwardly spaced cylindrical portions 88 may be incorporated and include central apertures 89. Additional pairs of inwardly spaced apertures 91, 92 are also employed all in the manner of block 60. In use, the point of intersection of this block 80 with adjacent block may be adjusted inwardly at one end so that the block becomes, in effect, single ended. For extreme slopes, an arrangement might be used in which the axes of intersection are inset at both ends. While the angles of the blocks may be varied to match the slope, the blocks 80 also permit incremental variations, with or without angling.

Methods in accordance with the invention utilize the placement of successive subassemblies or multi-sided units in a laterally extending and vertically ascending fashion. Thus the point of intersection or the relative angle between successive units may be varied to adjust the slope minutely or incrementally to the slope of the hillside. In addition, the various appropriate joinder means may be utilized to interlock the various units as the assembly proceeds.

With a diamond pattern, for example, a pair of abutting blocks or two-sided unit may be placed on the lowest lateral line to define one inflection point, then an additional pair of blocks or multi-sided unit may be placed to intersect with the edge of the first element and to define the adjacent inflection point on one side. Then the elements of the next ascending row may be added in an alternate fashion, to permit proper interleaving of the end sections. The interlocking of the entire assembly begins when both ends of a block are interlocked to appropriately abutting blocks, at least some of which are themselves anchored at their opposite ends. Interlocking points are located to adjust the slope of the assembly.

While there have been described above and illustrated in the drawings various forms of terraced planter and retaining wall constructions in accordance with the invention, it will be appreciated that a number of modifications, alternatives and other forms are feasible. Accordingly, the invention should be considered to include all alterations and variations falling within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A combined retaining wall and planter box construction providing a substantially unitary assembly which is adapted to conform to the existing slope of a hillside, and comprising: a plurality of individual wall segments, each forming a different wall of a two level geometric shape defining the boundaries of an enclosed planter box, and each wall segment also serving as a common Wall with an adjacent planter box at a different level, the wall segments intersecting at the corners of the individual geometric shape, at least two of the wall segments of each geometric shape being variably positionable relative to the point of intersection therebetween, to vary the heightto-length ratio of the geometric shape, and means mechanically engaging the all intersecting wall segments in restraining relation to provide a unitary structure.

2. A terraced wall construction for matching the existing slope of a hillside with standard blocks comprising: a plurality of individual blocks arranged in an ascending pattern defining a plurality of like many-sided geometric shapes each having in excess of three sides, with the sides lying in at least two levels on the slope, each individual block defining substantially only a single wall of a different geometric shape and being common to two adjacent geometric shapes, and means positioned at each intersection point of said blocks to mechanically restrain the blocks comprising said geometric shapes from shifting laterally, thereby to combine all of said blocks into a unitary assembly.

3. A terraced retaining wall construction for a hillside, comprising a plurality of blocks of generally rectangular outline with relatively narrow width, said blocks being disposed along successive levels on the hillside and adjacently along each level to intersect with adjacent blocks to form tortuous wall segments, the wall segments of two adajcent levels defining individual enclosed areas having corners at the points of intersection of the adjacent blocks, the tops of the blocks lying along two horizontal levels for each enclosed area and each of the blocks having extending shoulder portions mating with extending shoulder portions of the adjacent blocks at the same level, and means restraining the adjacent blocks in pivoting relationship at the points of intersection, such that each end of each block is restrained and the entire retaining wall construction is unified.

4. A masonry planter block for landscape terraced construction comprising a substantially rectangular block of masonry material, said block being shaped to present front and back faces which are broad and upright and have substantially flat and parallel top and bottom surfaces along intermediate portions thereof, the ends of said block having at least one end shoulder extending therefrom continuous with the tip or bottom surface to provide a mating relation with an appropriately registered adjacent block at the same level, and at least the end shoulders including means for receiving retaining pins at the points of intersection with an adjacent block, and substantially flat surfaces at the mating surfaces to permit pivoting of the adjacent blocks about the point of intersection thereof.

5. The invention as set forth in claim 4 above, wherein the end shoulder extends from only one end of the block,

wherein the full height end includes means for receiving a retaining pin, and wherein the ends of the block are rounded for free hinging action about inserted retaining pins.

6. A terraced retaining wall construction comprising a sloping multi-cellular structure made up of a plurality of individual, substantially rectangular masonry blocks, each forming an individual wall of a cell between terminal intersection points with other substantially rectangular blocks, such that individual blocks extend in a zigzag along a lateral of the slope of the multi-cellular structure and the walls of the cells lie along at least two different levels, the individual blocks in the zigzag including pivoting joint means for cooperative relationship between adjacent blocks to adjust todifferent included angles relative to the slope line, thereby to conform the construction to the existing slope of a hillside, each block forming a common wall for two adjacent cells, and the blocks being disposed in overlapping and restraining relation at the points of intersection, with both ends of each block being coupled to at least one adjacent block by a pivoting joint means, to provide a continually ascending unitary structure.

7. A terraced wall construction built of individual standard blocks and variable in slope to match the existing slope of a hillside and comprising a plurality of elongated blocks of a first type, each of said blocks being generally rectangular in form and having a central length portion of a given height and like end portions of half height, the end portions being generally of semi-circular form, and including central vertical apertures extending therethrough; a plurality of elongated blocks of a second type, each of said blocks being generally rectangular in form and having a principal length portion of a height corresponding to the height of the blocks of the first type, and only one end portion of half height, the end portions of said second type blocks being of generally semicircular form, and including a plurality of vertical apertures extending therethrough both in the end portions and spaced inwardly along the full height portion of the block therefrom, said blocks of said first and said second types being arrayed in a regular ascending geometric pattern on a hillside, defining a regular cellular pattern, with the vertical apertures of at least three blocks being in alignment at each intersection point in the pattern, and a plurality of hinge pin means engaged within the vertical apertures of the blocks at each dilferent intersection point.

8. The invention as set forth in claim 7 above, wherein the geometric pattern is essentially a hexagon, wherein the blocks of a first type are disposed on lateral lines relative to the slope, and wherein the blocks of the second type are disposed in a juxtaposed ascending zigzag fashion along the line normal to the lateral, with the angle of the legs of the zigzag relative to the normal defining the slope of the unitary structure.

9. A terraced wall construction built of individual standard blocks and variable in slope to match the existing slope of a hillside and comprising a plurality of elongated blocks of a selected standard type, each of said blocks being generally rectangular in form and having a central length portion of a given height and like end portions of half height, the end portions being of generally semi-circular form, and including vertical apertures extending therethrough; said blocks of said selected standard type being arrayed in a regular ascending geometric pattern on a hillside, defining a regular cellular pattern, with the vertical apertures of at least three blocks being in alignment at each intersection point in the pattern, and a plurality of hinge pin means engaged within the vertical apertures of the blocks at each different intersection point.

10. The invention as set forth in claim 9 above, wherein each block includes a plurality of vertical apertures spaced inwardly along the block.

11. A terraced wall construction built of standard blocks and variable in slope to approximately match the existing slope of a hillside comprising: a plurality of elongated blocks having substantially rectangular bodies, at least the end portions of the blocks having vertical holes therein, said blocks being overlaid in a regular geometrical pattern of more than three sides and lying on two different levels, with blocks intersecting at points of juncture with the geometrical pattern, with the vertical holes in alignment, such that an ascending terraced wall construction is provided, the blocks including pivoting joint means cooperating with said vertical holes for varying the height-to-length ratio of the cells, said pivoting joint means engaging at least two of the blocks by the vertical holes at an intersection point, thereby to restrain each block relative to the adjacent blocks.

12. The invention as set forth in claim 11 above, wherein the blocks are divided into two types, at least one of which includes a plurality of vertical apertures disposed inwardly along the length of the block, and wherein the geometric pattern is rectangular, the blocks being disposed with the type having inwardly positioned apertures aligned with a line extending upward along the slope, and the blocks of the second type being disposed along a lateral of the slope, the blocks of the first type and of the second type intersecting at selected vertical aperture positions along the blocks of the first type.

13. The invention as set forth in claim 12 above, wherein at least one type block includes a plurality of vertical apertures disposed inwardly from the block end, and wherein the geometric pattern is rectangular, the blocks being disposed in a juxtaposed relation to each other and aligned with a line extending upward along the slope, and the adjacent blocks being disposed along a lateral of the slope, said blocks intersecting at a given vertical aperture position along the block.

14. A block for use in terraced wall constructions and including an elongated central body having substantially flat and parallel top and bottom sides, the central body tapering toward the ends, the block also including cylindrical end portions, one of the cylindrical end portions being half height and the other full height, and including a full height cylindrical section disposed inwardly from the full height cylindrical end portion, the block also including central vertical apertures extending through both the end portions and the inwardly spaced cylindrical section, and vertical apertures extending into the central body at selected inwardly spaced points thereon.

15. A block for use in terraced wall constructions and including an elongated central body having substantially fiat and parallel top and bottom sides, the central body tapering toward the ends, the block also including cylindrical end portions, both the cylindrical end portions being half height, and the block including symmetrically disposed cylindrical sections of full height inwardly disposed of the end portions, and vertical apertures through at least the end portions and the cylindrical sections.

16. A block for use in terraced wall constructions and including an elongated central body having substantially flat and parallel top and bottom sides, the central body tapering toward the ends, the block also including cylindrical end portions, both the cylindrical end portions being half height and including central vertical apertures.

17. A terraced wall construction for sloping ground, comprising the combination of a plurality of blocks of generally rectangular form, and having offset end shoulders on opposite ends thereof, the blocks being disposed in a regular diamond pattern, alternately inverted such that end shoulder portions are in mating relation and such that a zigzag path about a generally horizontal line along the sloping ground is defined by horizontally adjoining blocks, the inflection points of one generally horizontal zigzag being overlapped by inflection points of the immediately uppermost zigzag, to define included diamondshaped areas, the slope of the structure being defined by the length of a diamond along the slope relative to the length of the diamond in the horizontal direction lateral to the slope, and vertical pins extending through each of the four blocks at an intersection point and locking the wall segments together into a rigidified unitary wall construction.

18. The invention as set forth in claim 17 above, wherein he hinge pins extend into the sloping ground as anchor to s.

19. A terraced wall construction for sloping ground, comprising the combination of a plurality of blocks of generally rectangular form, and having half-height, generally cylindrical offset end shoulders on opposite ends thereof, the blocks including vertical apertures in the end shoulders and being disposed in a regular diamond pattern, alternately inverted such that end shoulder portions are in pivoting mating relation and such that a zigzag path about a generally horizontal line along the sloping ground is defined by horizontally adjoining blocks, the inflection points of one generally horizontal zigzag being overlapped by inflection points of the immediately uppermost zigzag, to define included diamond-shaped areas, the slope of the structure being defined by the length of a diamond along the slope relative to the length of the diamond in the horizontal direction lateral to the slope, and vertical pins extending through the vertical apertures in each of the four blocks at an intersection axis and locking the wall segments together into a rigidified unitary wall construction, whereby the assembled block construction is variable in slope to match the existing slope of the hillside.

20. A masonry block for terraced planter and retaining wall constructions comprising a substantially rectangular block suitable for manufacture by standard masonry block-making machinery and having flat and parallel top and bottom surfaces and substantially straight side surfaces, and including end shoulder portions, at least the end shoulder portions including vertical apertures therethrough, and the end shoulder portions being of cylindrical form, and both being half height relative to the block height and including central vertical apertures therethrough,

21. A terrace wall construction of variable slope and defining geometrical planter boxes within, and including the combination of a plurality of like standard blocks, each of substantially rectangular form and full height throughout and including vertical apertures adjacent each end thereof, the blocks being laid in successive ascending zigzag patterns along successive generally horizontal lines, the angles when viewed in plan of the blocks relative to the horizontal lines defining the slope of the structure, the ends of each pair of adjacent blocks which define a point of inflection being disposed in abutting relation to each other at their ends, and in overlapping relation to the individual blocks defining the oppositely directed included angle for the point of inflection for the immediately below zigzag pattern and including flat surfaces at the regions of contact with overlapping blocks, and a plurality of U- shaped hinge pins, each extending through the vertical apertures of the four blocks at an intersection point and permitting pivoting of said blocks about said intersection point, with both ends of each block being engaged by a hinge pin to adjacent ends of other blocks, such that all blocks are joined in a unitary structure.

22. A terraced wall construction of variable slope and defining geometrical planter boxes within, and including the combination of a plurality of like standard blocks, each of substantially rectangular form and full height throughout with rounded ends, and including vertical pinreceiving surfaces adjacent each end thereof, the blocks being laid in successive ascending zigzag patterns along successive generally horizontal lines, the angles when viewed in plan of the blocks relative to the horizontal lines defining the slope of the structure, the ends of each pair of adjacent blocks which define a point of inflection being disposed in abutting pivoting relation to each other at their rounded ends, and in overlapping relation to the individual blocks defining the oppositely directed included angle for the point of inflection for the immediately below zigzag pattern and including flat surfaces in contact with the overlapping blocks to permit pivoting relative thereto, and a plurality of unitary pairs of hinge pins, each extending through the vertical pin-receiving surfaces of the upper two adjacent blocks and at least partially into the vertical pin-receiving surfaces of the lower two adjacent blocks at an intersection point.

References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,514,081 11/1924 Hahn 52-585 2,320,292 5/1943 Nelson 4625 2,826,906 3/1958 Rice 52-585 2,911,794 11/1959 Pearson 6135 OTHER REFERENCES Building Boulders, Playthings, July 1964, pp. 101- 102.

ABRAHAM G. STONE, Primary Examiner.

ROBERT E. BAGWILL, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1514081 *Mar 2, 1917Nov 4, 1924Frank R HahnConcrete building construction
US2320292 *Jun 27, 1940May 25, 1943Nelson Evan LEducational block
US2826906 *Jul 7, 1954Mar 18, 1958Rice William AWall of building blocks
US2911794 *Nov 4, 1955Nov 10, 1959Pearson Louis ORetaining wall
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3537687 *Sep 25, 1967Nov 3, 1970Adelman PhilipGarden fence and wall
US4190304 *May 10, 1978Feb 26, 1980Schneider Robert JApparatus for use in the construction and decoration of upholstered furniture and the like
US4288175 *Oct 29, 1979Sep 8, 1981Henningson, Durham & Richardson, Inc.Reticulately reinforced earthen dams and method for providing reinforcement
US4664552 *Aug 16, 1985May 12, 1987Cecil SchaafErosion control apparatus and method
US4869018 *Mar 6, 1989Sep 26, 1989Hjs Enterprises, Inc.System forming a self-irrigating, raised bed
US4923339 *Sep 14, 1987May 8, 1990Fomico International, Inc.Foldable concrete retaining wall structure
US4942709 *Mar 22, 1989Jul 24, 1990Waldron Michael PFor an exhibit
US5080523 *Mar 8, 1991Jan 14, 1992Waldormills Company EstablishmentConnecting stone for forming road edges
US5168678 *Nov 7, 1991Dec 8, 1992Thompson Industries, Inc.Modular landscaping system and structures
US5482408 *Oct 18, 1993Jan 9, 1996Impresa Concari Prefabbricati Di P. ConcariEmbankment formed by preformed collaborating assemblable elements, in particular for road or railway constructions, and process
US5913781 *May 31, 1996Jun 22, 1999Hanover Catalog Holdings, Inc.Landscape timber connecting system
US6085458 *Dec 31, 1997Jul 11, 2000Gau; Larry J.Lawn edging
US6231272 *Dec 14, 1999May 15, 2001Merrill E. BishopConstruction block for making various structures
US6547488Feb 28, 2001Apr 15, 2003Robert A. ImbrigiottaGreens maintenance system
US6938369 *Jul 25, 2003Sep 6, 2005Permaloc CorporationChange of grade connector
US6944998 *Aug 6, 2002Sep 20, 2005John KingSimulated masonry garden walls having modular construction
US7255314 *Mar 14, 2005Aug 14, 2007Stuart Craig HansonExtendable support structures
US7770340 *Oct 24, 2005Aug 10, 2010Heady Timothy PMethod and apparatus for installing egress window steps
US7857552 *Dec 11, 2007Dec 28, 2010Piao-Chin LiTenon joint type space lattice structure
DE4237188A1 *Nov 4, 1992May 13, 1993Thompson Ind IncTitle not available
EP0595193A1 *Oct 21, 1993May 4, 1994Impresa Concari Prefabbricati Di P. ConcariAn embankment formed by preformed collaborating assemblable elements, in particular for road or railway constructions, and process
EP0981948A1 *Aug 23, 1999Mar 1, 2000Heinrich WüsterEdging wall, especially for bed edges, spring beds, demarcation in garden and green places or the like
WO1987005648A1 *Mar 16, 1987Sep 24, 1987Didier M SarniguetRetaining wall built with reinforced earth
WO2003031773A2 *Oct 4, 2002Apr 17, 2003Paton-Ash Gregory RoyLite mine roof support crib and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification47/33, 405/287, D25/113
International ClassificationE02D29/02, A01G1/08
Cooperative ClassificationE02D29/0216, A01G1/08, E02D29/02
European ClassificationE02D29/02C, E02D29/02, A01G1/08