Science: Mushy Foundations

No skyscraper has yet toppled over, from Chicago's Home Insurance Building (world's first skyscraper, a steel skeleton structure) erected in 1885 to Manhattan's Chrysler and Bank of the Manhattan buildings now being completed. But several are in danger. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, journal of the American Chemical Society, last week solemnly predicted. The names and locations of the endangered buildings the magazine did not report.

Their danger lies in their rotting concrete foundations. The concrete penetrates water-logged ground, but was not made impervious to water. Consequently...

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