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Shoddy construction?

Cables, concrete, corrosion...

Cables, concrete, corrosion...

This post is either about shoddy construction or shoddy journalism — I can’t decide which.

The question is, why is this building in Seattle built in 2001 already so damaged that it needs to be torn down?

Sadly, this article that I read only says that “the issue involves cables, concrete and corrosion that have become so costly to repair that it would be cheaper for the owner to tear down the building than to fix it.”

Cables, concrete, and corrosion.  Ah, yes — that explains everything.

When it comes to high-rise construction, I’m what you would call a “layperson” or, if you prefer, an “ignoramus.”  So I’m not expecting a detailed explanation all the nuances that make this building worth less than a pile of rubble.  But I’d like to think that the reporter could have done a better job of dumbing it down for me than “cables, concrete, and corrosion.”  That kind of catchy, uninformative phrase is beneath even local newspaper journalism.  It’s fit only for the lowest dregs of America’s news media — local TV news.

But wait; reporter Lindsay Cohen is identified in the byline not as a newspaper journalist but as “KOMO-TV staff.”  Aha!  I knew it.  Seems the local Seattle paper is so hard up that some of their web stories originate with KOMO-TV.  Like most local TV news outlets, I’m wholly unsurprised to see it putting out crap.

Massive missing marble chunks...

Massive missing marble chunks...

Ok, though, so even if we don’t know anything beyond “cables, concrete, and corrosion,” whew!  Are you kidding me?  Not even ten years old and the building is so damaged that it has to be torn down?  That sure does seem like some mighty shoddy construction, or shoddy design, or something.  Not that this kind of thing hasn’t happened before.  I’m reminded of the mid-1970s fiasco in Chicago, where the Aon Center (then the Standard Oil Building) started to shed big chunks of its marble cladding just one year after the building was built.  That goof-up cost half the original cost of the entire building to fix.

I wonder what the local TV news in Chicago said about that?  “Marble, missiles, and mistakes”?

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