~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
September 3, 2014
★~ Today’s Quote: “The truth is, you can skip the pursuit of happiness altogether and just be happy.”
★~ Skyscraper Day:
Look Up! It’s a Skyscraper. Today’s we celebrate tall buildings. How tall? Since the term skyscraper was first used in the late 19th century, buildings of 12 stories or more have been considered skyscrapers. The Home Insurance Building constructed in Chicago in 1885 is considered the “the father of the skyscraper.” It was 138 feet tall and 10 stories. It was the first building to effectively employ a supporting skeleton of steel beams and columns, allowing it to have many more windows than traditional masonry structures. The building was demolished in 1931 because of safety concerns.
Burj Dubai is currently the world’s tallest at 2,717 feet– almost twice the height of the Empire State Building.
★~Welsh Rarebit Day:
Famous all over Europe, Welsh Rarebit is made with a cheese and ale sauce : served over toast.. Nobody’s quite sure of the origin of the name, but it’s generally believed to be a jest at the expense of the poor people of Wales, who dined on a lot of rabbit and drank a lot of ale. It has been prepared in British homes as a special supper dish and in taverns since at least the 18th century, and is considered by some to be a uniquely British variation on fondue.
★~ Today in History:
♥~1189 – England’s King Richard the 1st, the Lionheart, was crowned. Ironically, Richard primarily spoke French, and spent little time in England during his 10 years on the throne.
♥~ 1833 – The first successful one-cent (or penny) newspaper was published. Benjamin H. Day issued the first copy of The New York Sun. By 1836, The Sun had the largest circulation in the U.S.: 30,000.
♥~ 1951 – Search for Tomorrow (longest running television series) debuted on CBS-TV
♥~ 1973 – George Gately’s Heathcliff debuted. The comic strip, about a stylish cat in leather jacket and sunglasses, soon appeared in newspapers all over the world.
♥~ 1989 – Karen and Stan Sutton sailed back into San Francisco harbor 8½ years after leaving on their trip around the world. They made it in a 43-foot ship they built themselves, despite Karen’s chronic sea sickness. Along the way, the couple had two children.
★~ Famous Birthdays:
♥~ 1913 – Alan (Walbridge) Ladd actor: The Carpetbaggers, Citizen Kane, Shane, Star Spangled Rhythm, This Gun for Hire; actress Cheryl Ladd’s father-in-law [she married Alan’s son David]; died Jan 29, 1964
♥~ 1942 – Al Jardine, guitar, vocals, The Beach Boys
♥~ 1965 – Charlie Sheen (Carlos Irwin Estevez) actor: Two and a Half Men, Wall Street, Platoon, Hot Shots, The Chase, Men at Work, Young Guns, Major League, Major League II, Being John Malkovich, Spin City; brother of actor Emilio Estevez, son of actor Marti
★~ Skyscraper Gallimaufry:
With its distinctive forty-five degree diagonal crown, the Citicorp building is one of the most recognizable skyscrapers on the New York City skyline. At fifty-nine stories, it’s the third tallest building in midtown Manhattan, and at the time of its completion it was the seventh-tallest building in the world. At ground level, the huge skyscraper almost seems to hover above Lexington Avenue, held aloft by four massive, 114-foot-tall stilts which are located at the center of each side rather than on the corners. This unusual architecture was one of necessity– the structure had to be built around the landmark St. Peter’s Church– but the design left room for a serious engineering flaw which went completely unnoticed during its construction and initial use. Had the weakness not been accidentally discovered and secretly fixed, the mighty skyscraper could have been toppled by a stiff gust of wind without any warning.
The Citigroup Center is, architecturally, different than most buildings. Whereas the typical building has structural support columns at each of the four corners, the Citigroup Center’s columns are in the center of each of the four sides, allowing the building to cantilever over a neighboring church. Doing so required a special type of bracket, which the building’s structural engineer, William LeMessurier, designed for this specific purpose. As designed, the building could sustain a direct, straight-on hit from hurricane-level winds.
Unfortunately, the construction company never tested to see how the building would fare against winds that hit the building at a 45-degree angle, which would cause the winds to hit two of the four outer walls simultaneously. After this concern was brought to LeMessurier’s attention— and well after the building was finished— he tested the theory in a wind tunnel and determined that these “quartering winds” would cause significantly more load than anticipated. But because the building, as drawn up, was padded with a significant level of additional safety measures, this theoretical problem had few if any practical ramifications.
Until, that is, someone mentioned to LeMessurier about a cost savings the builders had found. Instead of welding his special brackets onto the structural columns, the builders bolted them on. Welded brackets are less likely to fall prey to heavy winds. When faced with the same hurricane-level force, bolts have the potential to shear. And no one tested to see if the bolts could handle hurricane-level quartering winds. In theory? They couldn’t.
That June, LeMessurier determined that the type of winds capable of causing structural damage to the building hit Manhattan every fifteen to twenty years. Having a fifty-nine-story building in the middle of Manhattan that was at risk for such damage was, to say the least, a very big problem. Hurricane season was only a few months away. With a 5– 10 percent chance of a building-threatening storm coming that fall, fixing the problem became a priority. But admitting to it was an embarrassment. In addition, telling the public would likely cause a panic among neighbors and office workers alike. So LeMessurier and Citicorp (as it was then known) agreed to do the repairs after-hours, and not tell anyone.
It took three months, but the undercover workmen successfully welded steel plates over the bolted-on brackets. No one found out about the fix-up job for nearly two decades; The New Yorker broke the story in 1995. Fortunately, no one was hurt by the faulty building
Wishing everyone a Wonderful Wednesday. I’ll be back later to muse and hopefully amuse.
Odd Loves Company!