In the following posts, I will talk about an incredible story for the Landmarks in New York City, Saint Peter´s Church, and the Citigroup Center, previously known as the Citicorp Building. Saint Peters Church is located on the corner of Lexington and 53rd street (close to my office), under one of the corners of the tower.

If you don’t know about the lucky story of this tower, I invite you to read more of it. The 59 stories tower was built in the seventies. The air rights were own by Saint Peters Church. They sold City Group all of them with only one condition, the church had to be in the same place. For this reason, the tower has this particular design. The podium has no columns in the corners, and all the loads are concentrate in the core and the center of the edges. Some years later, a student, who was finishing her thesis about this building, realized that the calculations for winds in the corners on the building (not perpendicular) were not taken into consideration. In the original designs of the engineer (LeMessurier) all the joints were welded. The steel company responsible for its construction, replace all of them with bolt joints for saving money. A hurricane or a storm with high winds could make the structure collapse, generating a domino effect that could destroy part of Midtown. During the following months, they reinforced all the structure with welded plates in the interiors secretly, winds and meteorology conditions were monitored 24h and the emergency services and hospitals were prepared in case of evacuation and collapse of some blocks around the tower. This story came to light by the end of the nineties, at a cocktail party. The student (Diane Hartley) did not receive recognition for her discovery, and she found out when the story was published in The New Yorker.

Juan Carlos Bragado


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