Nation: And Then the Bricks Came Tumbling Down

When Boston's 13-story, $11.8 million Veterans Administration Hospital opened in 1952, a VA official described it as "the finest and most modern in the East." The patients themselves were similarly delighted. "Home," exulted one of them "was never like this!"

It wasn't. Before long, the outer walls began to bulge, window frames buckled and bricks began to peel off. So great was the danger that a barrier had to be erected around the whole building to protect passers-by from getting clobbered by falling bricks. When investigating engineers tore away a wall, they discovered gaping holes in the cement undersurface as well as...

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