This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The plan must be laid out so as to obtain the largest possible amount of space available; it must be made with reference to the constructive requirements.
Staircases, elevators, piers, etc., should be arranged so that the actual renting space will be an open loft, where offices and windows can be divided up easily to suit different tenants, and can be easily changed.
Make the street entrance and corridors so that the offices can be easily reached and doors and signs easily seen. The corridors should not be less than 3 feet 8 inches wide; as a general rule, they should be 4 feet to 8 feet wide, depending upon the use, the number of offices and the size of the building.
Arrange janitor's and superintendent's offices, telephone, telegraph, news booths, and elevators so that the tenants and public may be quickly accommodated.
As a rule, unless there are two frequently used entrances, the elevators should be placed so that they can all be seen by a person entering the building.
A car 5 feet 3 inches by 6 feet, with a door on the long side an( the rest of the side removable, is convenient for handling ordinary office furniture. One elevator in the building should be as large as this. Other elevators may be smaller.
If a building is more than 6 stories high, it is advisable to have one or more elevators express to the 6th story. The doors at the lowest floor, where the largest number of passengers pass in and out, and where there is generally a "starter" to see that the cars are not overcrowded, may be arranged so that the whole side of the car will open, allowing all the passengers in the elevator to pass out at once.
Staircases are rarely used in an office building. A width of 3 feet 3 inches is generally sufficient; and sometimes staircases are as small as 2 feet 9 inches.
If there is a light court, it should be of such shape and location as to receive as much sun as possible.
There should be toilet rooms on every floor; generally lavatories are placed in the separate offices. Radiators are put in front of each window, transoms over every door; the lighting is done by electricity with drop-lights and receptacles for desk-lights.