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Fallingwater ready to fall

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On March 11th, there was an article in the New York Times and the San
Francisco Examiner about the structural problems at Frank Lloyd Wright's
Fallingwater.

Here are some exerpts from Fred Bernstein's
article......................

The droop in the southwest corner of the main cantilever is visible from
across the stream. Seven inches is a lot. The problem isn't age but
Wright's failure to put enough steel reinforcing rods into the concrete
despite strong admonitions to do so. When Fallingwater's contractor
suggested using more steel in the building to make it safer, Wright
threatened to quit the project. Nonetheless, when Wright was away from
the site, the contractor installed twice as much steel reinforcing as
the architect had asked for. Had he not done so, the building probably
would not be standing today.

The owner was said to have been worried about the cantilevers until he
died in 1955. He took detailed measurements every year.

The costs to repair the structure is estimated at one million dollars.

The complete article can be read at the following websites:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/03/11/MNH96803.DTL

or

http://www.nytimes.com/auth/login?Tag=/&URI=/yr/mo/day/news/style/wright-architecture.html

Jim Kestner, P.E.
Green Bay, Wi.