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99 Percent Invisible on the Citicorp building

2014-04-15 23:14:06.886049+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Many of you have read The New Yorker story about structural engineer William LeMessurier getting a call from an undergraduate student who told him that the New York City Citicorp building he designed would blow over in a strong wind (PDF), and re-doing his calculations, discovering that the undergrad was correct, and the efforts taken to stabilize the building.

the 99 Percent Invisible podcast tackles that, and talks to the undergrad, Diane Hartley. Linked here so I can get it on my phone and listen to it.

[ related topics: Invention and Design New York ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-04-16 20:29:17.267007+00 by: Larry Burton

That is an amazing story. Amazing in that he had a meeting with the lawyers first and it wasn't just covered up.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-04-17 15:43:46.205656+00 by: Dan Lyke

I wish that the 99 Percent Invisible folks didn't drink so heavily from the Radiolab production and editing well, and I'd also love to have people delve a little into the gender politics of why Diane Hartley was remembered as a "him" (although LeMessurier is dead now, and there's no real way to go back and figure out the reporting chain), but if that perhaps relates to why she thinks that the bulk of her contribution was to get someone else thinking about the calculations.

At any rate, yeah, it's an amazing story on a whole bunch of levels and layers. I also wonder what the welding crew was told: Was this like any other gig? Were they asked for secrecy? How'd that work?

#Comment Re: made: 2014-04-18 02:57:54.81973+00 by: dexev

That New Yorker article most certainly did not pass the Bechdel test...