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STILL STANDING 11.09.2009

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World Trade Center 1 and 2, by illustrator Charles R. Ott, Jr.

Erecting the Towers 

As we have explained, once the job of erecting the steel was complete, the external skin of the building had to be put into place. The skin was made up of large panels of anodized aluminum. The architect, Minoru Yamasaki, was keeping an eye on the process. They had gone about twenty floors up with the aluminum panels, when Yamasaki got it in his mind that one panel on the fifteenth floor was off in colour. Yamasaki insisted that the construction people remove and replace the unsightly, faulty panel. Ray Monti refused, saying that it would be too costly to remove five floors of paneling just to get at one pane. Yamasaki continued to complain. Finally, an afternoon meeting was called for final resolution of the dispute. Everyone concerned was gathered together, including Jack Kyle, the chief engineer, and Ray Monti, the construction manager. But first the disputants had to go out for lunch. Yamasaki had his usual three or four martinis at lunch. Afterward, they walked back to the site. Yamasaki looked up and pointed at the offending panel. "You see that panel? It's just not right." Everyone else had difficulty identifying the offending panel. They looked and looked. Finally, Jack Kyle laughed and said, "Yama, you're standing on the wrong corner. This is the southeast corner! It's not where you were before." Yamasaki quietly dropped his objection, and the matter never came up again.

Excerpt, "Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center" by Angus Kress Gillespie.

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