In 1925 William Randolph Hearst purchased the cloisters of a Spanish monastery, had it dismantled brick by brick, and shipped it all to the US. The pieces sat in a Brooklyn, NY warehouse for 26 years until two entrepreneurs bought them and rebuilt the structure in North Miami, FL.
During WW II, Allies suspected that the Germans were using the Leaning Tower of Pisa as an observation post. Leon Weckstein, a U.S. Army sergeant sent to confirm this. But he was impressed by the beauty of Tower and thus refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction.
Houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs to harvest rain water and store it, as the island has no fresh-water springs, rivers or lakes.
New Orleans architectural historian Samuel Wilson, Jr. stated that the term “shotgun” house is a reference to the idea that if all the doors are opened, a shotgun blast fired into the house from the front doorway will fly cleanly to the other end and out at the back.
In 1978 an architectural student discovered that a skyscraper in NY could topple if strong winds hit the building. The engineer that is credited for designing the building then made secret nightly repairs in collaboration with the NYPD, without alerting the general public to the danger.
A London skyscraper melted several cars and started fires due to the intensity of the sun’s reflection on its south side. It had to be fitted with a permanent sunshade to prevent more incidents.
Despite ancient Roman bridges being the first large and lasting bridges ever built, many are still used despite being around 2,000 years old.
Forty years ago, a prominent designer received a call from an undergrad architecture student who told him that a design flaw in his 59-story Manhattan skyscraper could cause it to collapse during a storm. Initially he scoffed, then disturbingly, figured that she was right.
The largest brick building in the Americas is located on an uninhabited island 68 miles west of Key West.
Hitler and his architect Albert Speer believed in the “Ruin Value” of buildings. He aimed for every building that the Third Reich built to have aesthetically pleasing ruins 1000 years from their completion.