In 1978, a 59-story skyscraper in New York City was at risk of collapse. An engineering flaw, serendipitously discovered by an architecture PhD candidate studying the Citigroup Center as a thesis project, meant the building was unexpectedly susceptible to winds — and hurricane Ella was bearing down on the eastern seaboard. Meanwhile, 2500 Red Cross volunteers were on standby to execute a 10-block-radius evacuation plan should the building topple (and possibly cause a domino-like chain reaction), while engineers worked to reinforce the structural integrity of the building. And all of this happened in secret.
A recent tweet from a former resident of the building reminded me of this remarkable story. To learn more about the unusual stilt-based design of the building and how the design flaw was discovered, check out the article from 99% Invisible or listen to the accompanying podcast.
That's all from us for this week. Have a great weekend, and we'll be back with more next week.