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Note: This paper was adapted from an earlier version co-authored by Timothy F. Hegarty.

  1. A tour de force as a stylish silhouette in the skyline and for the pedestrian, a hovering cantilevered hulk...” White, Norval and Elliot Willensky. “AIA Guide To New York City.” Fourth Edition. Three Rivers Press. p. 281. (2000).
  2. The building has five massive columns, the fifth being located on the interior of the building at the elevator shaft.
  3. William LeMessurier (pronounced “La Measure”) (1926–2007) was born in Pontiac Michigan. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in mathematics and went on to study architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1953 he obtained a master’s degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was awarded the AIA Allied Professions Medal in 1968, elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1978, received and Honorary AIA designation in 1988 and an Honorary member of ASCE in 1989. William LeMessurier, Wikipedia. (accessed December 2, 2010).
  4. Alpern, Andrew and Seymour Durst. “New York’s Architectural Holdouts.” Dover Publications Inc. (1997).
  5. Hugh Stubbins & Associates was the design architect for the project and Emery Roth & Sons was the production architect. AIA Guide To New York City, supra.
  6. Morgenstern, Joe. “The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis.” The New Yorker. (May 29, 1995).
  7. A fifth stilt (or column) was located at the elevator core in the center of the building.
  8. Whitbeck, Caroline. “Addendum: The Diane Hartley Case.” National Academy of Engineering. (January 14, 2011).
  9. Horsley, Carter B. “The Citicorp Center.” (accessed December 10, 2010).
  10. Gannon, Robert. “Buildings That Keep Their Balance.” Popular Science (August 1985). It has been reported that the installation of the “tuned mass damper” saved the bank almost $4 million in additional structural bracing that would have been otherwise needed. The tuned mass damper is over 800 feet above ground level.
  11. LeMessurier, William J. “The 59 Story Crisis: A Lesson In Professional Behavior” (video November 17, 1995).
  12. This version of the events differs from those reported initially by Mr. Morgenstern in the article “The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis” that appeared in the New Yorker on May 29, 1995.
  13. Interview with Diane Hartley, (February 2010).
  14. Whitbeck, supra.
  15. Kremer, Eugene. (Re)Examining the Citicorp Case: Ethical Paragon or Chimera. ARQ, Architectural Research Quarterly, V.6, Pt.3. pp 269–276. (March 24, 2003). Robert McNamara’s statements directly contradict LeMessurier’s statements that the quartering winds were not considered, and would not have been considered, since that was not part of the standard procedure at the time.
  16. It is also important to note that at the time of the design the New York City Building Code did not require an analysis of the quartering winds on a building.
  17. Kremer, supra.
  18. “The 59 Story Crisis: A Lesson In Professional Behavior,” supra.
  19. “The 59 Story Crisis: A Lesson In Professional Behavior,” supra.
  20. The diagonal bracing was comprised of W14x550 members.
  21. Morgenstern, supra.
  22. Four bolts had been used to secure each connection. Each bolt had a capacity of 100k and when the entire dead load reduction is used to calculate the force, 400K is the design strength needed at the connection. (2000K tension wind - 1600K dead load = 400K). However if the ¾ reduction was used 8 bolts would have been needed (2000K tension wind - ¾(1600K dead load) = 800K). Rodriguez, Vanessa. Citicorp Center. Penn State (2010).
  23. LeMessurier would later author a 30-page document entitled “Project SERENE—Special Engineering Review of Events Nobody Expected” which articulated the mistakes LeMessurier believed created the issue.
  24. LeMessurier did not think long about suicide, because “if I did I would miss finding out how the story ended...” “Fatal Flaw: A Skyscraper’s Nightmare. BBC/A&E. (documentary) 1996. “I had information that nobody else in the world had. I had power in my hand to effect extraordinary events that only I could initiate. I mean, sixteen years to failure—that was very simple, very clear-cut. I almost said, thank you, dear Lord, for making the problem so sharply defined that there’s no choice to make.” Morgenstern, supra..
  25. “William LeMessurier-The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis: A Lesson in Professional Behavior” Online Ethics Center for Engineering 6/23/2006 National Academy of Engineering. (accessed February 1, 2011).
  26. Most were encased behind sheetrock.
  27. Plywood shacks were constructed within the office space around the weld sites to contain the construction activities.
  28. Montante, Ross. “Famous Engineer Shares Tale of Near-Disaster. The Chronicle March 10, 1998.
  29. Hugh Stubbins attorney was Carl M. Sapers, Esq. Morgenstern, supra.
  30. At the time, Leslie Robertson was probably best known for his role as the chief structural designer of the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City which had been completed in 1971.
  31. Morgenstern, supra. Reed eventually succeeded Wriston as chairman and served in that capacity from 1984 to 1998, and served as co-chairman from 1998 to 2000.
  32. Morgenstern, supra.
  33. Henry DeFord III and Robert Dexter were both vice-presidents with the bank and had overseen the initial building construction. Morgenstern, supra.
  34. Morgenstern, supra.
  35. MTS Systems Corporation was the firm that manufactured the tuned mass damper.
  36. Morgenstern, supra.
  37. Mike Reilly was the American Red Cross’s director of disaster services for NYC.
  38. Morgenstern, supra.
  39. Ramirez, Anthony. William LeMessurier, 81, Structural Engineer, Dies. New York Times. June 21, 2007.
  40. “Citicorp Tower Gets More Steel Bracing As Added Precaution.” The Wall Street Journal, p. 15, August 9, 1978.
  41. Morgenstern, supra.
  42. Morgenstern, supra.
  43. Martin, Joseph. “Citicorp Bldg. to Get 1M Wind Bracing.” Daily News. August 9, 1978.
  44. Kremer quoting Martin, Joseph. “Citicorp Bldg. to Get 1M Wind Bracing.” Daily News. August 9, 1978.
  45. Morgenstern, supra.
  46. Morgenstern, supra. The strike shut down the New York Times, the Daily News and the New York Post.
  47. National Weather Service records.
  48. E.g., Harvard; Texas A&M; and Online Ethics Center for Engineering, National Academy of Engineering.
  49. National Society of Professional Engineers, Code of Ethics for Engineers. An online version can be found at Similarly, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Code of Ethics contains seven fundamental cannons:
    1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties.
    2. Engineers shall perform services only in areas of their competence.
    3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
    4. Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest.
    5. Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others.
    6. Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of the engineering profession and shall act with zero-tolerance for bribery, fraud, and corruption.
    Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers, and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision. American Society of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics. The ASCE Code of Ethics was adopted on September 2, 1914 and amended most recently on July 23, 2006. The American Institute of Architects, along with the other engineering societies also have codes of ethics. See e.g., ACEC Code of Ethics -; AIChE Code of Ethics - ; ASME Code of Ethics -; and IEEE Code of ethics -
  50. Id.
  51. New York Education Law § 7301 (stating “The practice of the profession of architecture is defined as rendering or offering to render services which require the application of the art, science, and aesthetics of design and construction of buildings, groups of buildings, including their components and appurtenances and the spaces around them wherein the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned. Such services include, but are not limited to consultation, evaluation, planning, the provision of preliminary studies, designs, construction documents, construction management, and the administration of construction contracts.”).
  52. Ohio Administrative Code §4703-3-07 (“ Code of conduct. Preamble. In order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public and the state of Ohio, to maintain integrity and high standards of skills and practice in the profession of architecture, the following rules of professional conduct, promulgated in accordance with Chapter 4703. of the Revised Code, shall be binding upon every person holding a certificate of qualification as a registered architect.)
  53. Kremer, supra.
  54. Kremer, supra.
  55. "William LeMessurier-The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis: A Lesson in Professional Behavior," supra.
  56. “A Question of Ethics.” ASCE Volume 32, Number 7. July 2007.
  57. Kremer, supra.
  58. "William LeMessurier-The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis: A Lesson in Professional Behavior," supra.
  59. NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers.
  60. NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers, Section III.
  61. NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers Section III.2.a.
  62. Kremer, supra.
  63. Roberto, Michael A. “In What You Don’t Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen” Wharton School Publishing. (2009).
  64. Karagianis, Liz. “The Right Stuff.” Spectrum. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Winter 1999).

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