1901 Pan Am Buffalo and why these Pan Ams were as insane as they look

anotherlayer

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#1
Everyone seems to ignore Buffalo's magnificent pan am of 1901. Full of electricity, the grossly infatuated architecture and street thugs taboot. What I just wanted to mention (this is my first post here, thanks for having me)... I think this idea that Pan Ams were partly used to set up the demolition of sketchy old buildings and erasing history through rebranding is just too much. There is just too much evidence that in fact, these incredibly grand buildings were simply 2x4s and plaster. Plaster by the finest Italian plaster/magicians of the period.

While I love the romanticism of the erase-by-demolition, however at best, I can only assume that the Pan Ams were nothing more than a money maker. And not too difficult to pull off. Let's look at some photos...

The Temple of Music - The shooting of President Who Cares by some dude named Blah blah blah. McKinley becomes President at some other dude's house and Buffalo names a bunch of schools and streets after him. Certainly that story is an entirely different thread. Cool Temple tho...

pan_colums.jpg

Definitely not from the past, these fools had a stadium going!

pan_stadium.jpg

How about this for an entrance...

pan_4columns.jpg

So yeah, these are all most definitely built on the spot, prior to the Pan Am's opening. Not only was this a colossal undertaking, they pulled it off flawlessly. I am an amateur master of Buffalo city maps. I know the years, the plots and lots of the land. There was nothing on this site prior to 1901. Well, since Buffalo's magical 'Burning of Buffalo' drama in the magic year of 1813.

Here are some very straight forward images of construction... They were building in the snows of winter!
pan_temple.jpg

Here are the 2x4's in the picture below ready for lathe and plaster.​

pan_temple02.jpg

pan_constr.jpg

A side topic on this could be the whole Tesla involvement. Rumor has it, he visited the Pan Am for "a few hours on his way down to New York City". What a load of shit. No photos, no first hand accounts. Tesla has been lauded as harnessing power from Niagara Falls 20 miles away, by wire, of course. Tesla was probably the real shooter of President "Thirsty Bill" McKinley.

Buffalo, the City of Lights, the Rainbow City, Electric City:

pan_lights.jpg

pan_lights2.jpg


These idiots even had gondolas surfing around a man made canal system. Take THAT 'we couldnt build the Erie Canal' theorists ;)

pan_gondola.jpg

And to end my thoughts on this whole Pan Am discussion... There does happen to be one surviving building from the Pan Am. It was called The New York State Building. This building was built with actual construction materials, stone, marble and whatever else. It was built specifically for the Pan Am and then to be specifically used as The Buffalo Historical Society (later).

It matches the wanna be greco-roman-classical-hyperborean style like good foot soldiers...

pan_historical.jpg

Buffalo, New York. One of the first major cities/hub in the infant days of the United States to have suffered a "great fire". In 1813, they (the British, they totally own it) washed Buffalo away, to be ably prepped to house the 2nd highest concentration of millionaires by 1901.
 
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KorbenDallas

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#2
Welcome to the site, and thank you for the article. I have not seen this expo yet. Too many of those were happening at the time. This Buffalo Expo was truly magnificent.

1200px-Pan-American_Exposition,_Buffalo,_1901.jpg
I have to respectfully disagree with the above assessment of the situation with this 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Here is what we have.
  • Construction started: 1899 (January or December?) - source
  • Construction ended: May 5, 1901
  • Construction duration: 1.5 years, or 2.5 years - unknown
  • Material used: buildings were constructed only of staff, a plaster-like material used specifically for the Pan-Am because it is manufactured to crumble after a few short months.
  • Number of buildings: ~ 51 (approx) - source
  • Size: 350 acres
  • Cost: $500,000
  • Sold for: $92,000
  • Profit: Buffalo ended up in debt, rather than with innumerable profits - source
  • Expo duration: 6 months
* * * * *​

In reference to the construction. What photo images do we have pertaining to construction? We have a total of 3 pictures below (I tried to google for additional ones - failed). Are those buildings being built, disassembled, or renovated? Where are the people, and the construction equipment? Where are foundations with no buildings erected yet, and partially built ones?

This order?
tmconstruction.jpg templescaffold.jpg

Or this one?
templescaffold.jpg tmconstruction.jpg

And one more image
pan_constr.jpg
The construction process lasted from 1.5 to 2.5 years, covered 350 acres of land to develop, incorporated at least 50 elaborate wired buildings and all the minor accessories (water canals, street lights, statues, etc). In the end we have 3 "construction related" photos covering the below.

1901PanAmericanBuffalo.jpg

It appears that in reality we do not know anything. I have no idea why nobody snapped a picture of Tesla's alleged visit. His visit is news to me. But how in the world a construction of this magnitude, complexity and level of infrastructure coordination only produced 3 images of completely standing buildings in the state of a possible renovation, is exactly why some of us started paying attention to the issue.

Non-existent information:
  • What company, or companies did the construction, electrical, plumbing, canal installation?
  • How many construction personnel were involved?
  • Where are the design blue prints?
  • Who were the plaster artisans performing those elaborate designs?
  • What companies did the interior designs for those 50 buildings?
  • Which companies supplied the construction materials (+ windows, doors, etc)?
  • Where is the photographic proof of the construction turmoil which was supposed to be happening to meet the dead line?
Architects
I picked one random architect from the Buildings and exhibits list. George Cary (1859-1945). He has a total of two photos (that is if it's the same person in both). His wiki page lists some serious projects. His Notable Projects alone should have created him a photo gallery with different "opening" ceremonies.

Architects are a dead give away in things like this.

George_Cary.jpg cary.jpg
The expo is destroyed, obviously. We will never know whether the video below shows plaster or marble buildings, bridges and such. Questioning the inconsistencies is all we have left.

 

ISeenItFirst

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#3
Welcome. New pics and new info. Thanks. Most of us here are open to all possibilities, as long as they are the truth.

Couple issues with the pics. So they put up all this scaffolding, erected the 2x4 frame, tore down the scaffolding, took a picture, put back all the scaffolding to do lathe and plaster?
This appears to be balloon framing, which would make sense at the time of about 1900. It would take A lot of very long lumber. It would also need sheathing prior to lathe and plaster, or it wouldn't last a month. 2x4 that long flex a lot more than plaster. Preferably diagonal sheathing, but horizontal would probably suffice.
Why are the flat areas above the doorways broken out. It looks like they were smashed. On the right and in a couple other spots.
Where is this constructed building in the after shots. It's not there. The one looks similar in size and shape, but that's it. It's clearly not the same building. Very similiar, but too different.
These canals appear the same material. Plaster and lathe holding water?
What does the sign say above the door and what are those guys doing on the roof.

I've worked on a few balloon framed houses. Granted, they never would have been able to do this in the time frame allotted using post and beam construction, and platform framing wasn't really invented yet, but balloon framing is usually limited to less than 4 stories height(platform as well really, some places allow up to 6 now but not many), and at that time, it was supposedly considered weak and cheap and could be blown over in the breeze (hence the name balloon framing)

If they were just a money maker, why did they keep doing them all over, when each one kept losing gobs of money?

Just my initial thoughts from your pics and post. Thanks for joining.
 

whitewave

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#4
Anotherlayer, you mentioned having maps of a time before this was built? Would you share them with us including the source of the maps you possess? Also, do you know who are the 9 figures carved above the door of the Buffalo Historical building and their significance? Thanks in advance.
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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#5
2 things first. I know absolutely very little about everything and this site is a dream to have and to have you others exist in my same world is a treat. But, I know a little...

- If this place was built prior to the public's knowledge, how the heck did such a magical Atlantis-style layout exist in this world without it being the 8th wonder? I mean, look at the layout. It's fantastic, it's beautiful, it's carefully planned and it's paradise on paper.

- This section of the city of Buffalo was at the time, the suburbs. 30 minutes from downtown by horse and 15 minutes from the closest neighborhoods that began their build up in the 1860s. Buffalo had zero activity in those fields. I can assure all of you.

- Those canals go nowhere but unto themselves. No connection to the actual canals miles away in downtown Buffalo. They wouldn't need to necessarily build concrete canal system, would they? Got me thinking about that one. You'd think you'd need a base liner of some sort, right? I dunno guys, it's high tech, heavy-work stuff. I don't understand it either.

- You'll also notice very little emphasis on the "globe earth". That's just a sidenote, not to distract. While I also love the idea that the Pan Ams were to help push the globe earth, I fear it's also a little too much. Sidenote, sidenote.

- The picture with the painfully prominent 2x4 framing... You really think this could be a demo picture? I dunno, I think they ground that stuff up. It's routinely dug up in the gardens and backyards of (now called) Nye Park. I actually lived in one of Sylvanus B. Nye's houses. People have column pieces and all sorts of decoration accents as garden toys. It's garbage plaster, it's easy to crumble. They built those buildings out of plaster and lathe, I'm 51% sure ;)

Some more odds and ends until I have a little more time...

Here is the vacant fields. There was nothing on this site.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.48.48 AM.png


Talk of the construction is littered all over the Buffalo newspapers from 1899 and on.. Mention of the fresh stadium. Here is just an example.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.50.11 AM.png



Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.53.45 AM.png


Cute plaster model of the Electric Tower (which a replica exists still in Buffalo)...

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.55.26 AM.png


pan_tower.jpg


The exposition book has all the names of the money people, the builders, the engineers. Where the gazillion wanted ads for workers eludes me. Just an example of one of the names thrown around. There is a large amount of mention of everyone involved.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.56.48 AM.png


Ghost dancers... lol

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.57.28 AM.png


More names...

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.00.06 PM.png


More work progress...

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.14.16 PM.png


Winner winner, chicken dinner...

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.19.30 PM.png


What was planned for after the demolition...

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.21.32 PM.png

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Anotherlayer, you mentioned having maps of a time before this was built? Would you share them with us including the source of the maps you possess? Also, do you know who are the 9 figures carved above the door of the Buffalo Historical building and their significance? Thanks in advance.
I will grab you the maps. They are the Hopkins maps of 1891, 1894. I also have the Sanborn maps. I will dig them up.

The 9 figures are: Philosophy, Industry, Art, Husbandry, History, Science, Mars, Religion, Law.
 
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ISeenItFirst

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#6
I think many of us are working with a hypothesis that much of the existing structures were under some 10-30 feet of dirt at the time of construction/excavation, and the work was primarily a renovation and rehab, in addition to the excavation.

Plaster and lathe needs a solid sub-structure. 2x4 would suffice for say, interior walls of 1 story height, 12 inch center studs. But an exterior wall of larger dimensions would be sheathed first for structure.

Where is all this hemp? I know new England has cement mines, but where are they in relation, and how many? Where are all the 3, 4, 5 story trees from which to make these long 2x4s. Northeast US is not known for its tall trees.

The canals, well, I'll have to think on that. Plaster could work, we use it now in pools, although not just any plaster.


Interesting info, I'll have to look deeper later, back to work for me.
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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#7
I think many of us are working with a hypothesis that much of the existing structures were under some 10-30 feet of dirt at the time of construction/excavation, and the work was primarily a renovation and rehab, in addition to the excavation.
Then take Buffalo off the list of Pan Ams that were dug out. It just didn't happen this way in Buffalo. Those buildings were never there before 1899. They just weren't. Again, I'm 51% sure.
 

KorbenDallas

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#8
Staff (plaster) may easily be bent, sawed, bored, or nailed. That’s wiki info. Definitely could be used as a temporary ornamental decoration. The issue here is that it still requires the same skills and time to produce the ornaments. From this stand point its irrelevant what material was used.

As far as stractural integrity goes, this plaster staff is worthless obviously. A natural question to ask would be pertaining to materials used for bridges for example.

C8BA60F9-DF51-4A5B-B402-BE9127B56878.jpeg

And buildings like this. Is this wood covered in plaster?

2C5E44C5-874A-4C6B-B3FD-59762B41A2B9.jpeg

We have a similar issue with the 1916 world expo in San Francisco. Here is the quote from SF of 1916, “Constructed from temporary materials (primarily staff, a combination of plaster and burlap fiber), almost all the fair's various buildings and attractions were pulled down in late 1915. Intended to fall into pieces at the close of the fair (reportedly because the architect believed every great city needed ruins).”

Below is what those temporary buildings were on the inside. Do they look temporary?

80688FFB-B341-4A8B-B273-D22015116004.jpeg 3C7AF370-C131-43FE-A30D-C658C3CEF472.jpeg 35D0DAE3-DEDC-4156-B9D6-DCAEC432B3B1.jpeg 22397797-8701-4D22-A80F-4A3DF0A4A71F.jpeg

I, personally, do not believe that everything was dug out as far as late 19th, early 20th century expos and buildings go. Some were, and dome were not. Obviously they were built by somebody. I do not believe the events took place the way they were described to us. And this is exactly why we have no information and tons of inconsistencies.

For the above published article images. Isn’t it bizarre that there us not a single image of the construction of the objects covered by those articles?

Another very important thing to pay attention to in the photographs of the working exposition is the crowd. Yep, look carefully at those people and their clothing. My family friend happens to be a professional tailor. She said that it appears those people all wear custom suits and dresses.

My personal theory. We are witnessing photographs which belong to a totally different time frame. This is why we never see any construction photos. My guess would be the equipment used could not belong to the reported time frame.

I also consider that all different time/location expos existed at the same time, but were deliberately spread out in history.

Once again. The buildings were built. Only when, and by whom? Those buildings were not temporary, and were destroyed for a reason.
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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#9
My personal theory. We are witnessing photographs which belong to a totally different time frame. This is why we never see any construction photos. My guess would be the equipment used could not belong to the reported time frame.

I also consider that all different time/location expos existed at the same time, but were deliberately spread out in history.
Ok, now this is something I can get behind...
 

ISeenItFirst

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#12
I just don't know. It's like the stories of the mound builders of North America, and the m3galithic city that was at saint Louis prior to the American Indians killing the giants and taking it over. A whole lot of stories. So much of the history just doesn't add up.
 

humanoidlord

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#13
where are the half complete building pictures?
good luck finding them!

If this place was built prior to the public's knowledge, how the heck did such a magical Atlantis-style layout exist in this world without it being the 8th wonder? I mean, look at the layout. It's fantastic, it's beautiful, it's carefully planned and it's paradise on paper.
because it got destroyed so people dint ask too much questions?
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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#14
Another very important thing to pay attention to in the photographs of the working exposition is the crowd. Yep, look carefully at those people and their clothing. My family friend happens to be a professional tailor. She said that it appears those people all wear custom suits and dresses.
might you elaborate on this thought about custom suits and dresses? meaning, they are out-of-place for 1901 or perhaps he was inferring they were staged? actors?
 

KorbenDallas

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#15
He meant that they appeared tailored to the specific bodies of the individuals wearing them. How many of us can afford a tailored suit today?
 

ISeenItFirst

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#16
Yeah, well once upon a time, there wasn't a rack to pick off of, so if you had a suit, it was made for you.
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Staff seems to only be mentioned as a building material in relation to these expos. Haven't seen it anywhere else, although with buffalo they say burlap fiber. The others have said hemp fiber. I would be very interested to know what the mix was. They all say cement, gypsum, and hemp or burlap.

Where is everyone getting that this stuff would be so weak? Improper ratios could lead to cracking and such, but gypsum and cement are both binders. The ratios will have an effect, but what is the aggregate? It really doesn't sound much different than modern gypsum cement, which is a strong material, before adding any fibers for added tensile strength.
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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#17
Here are some workers and work-in-progress. You cannot convince me that they are deconstructing. This also gives a great look at how those magnificent columns were merely only beautiful from the outside.

Plaster and lathe, built in 1900. Precisely 118 years ago. It looks unattainable, but they did it. This is Buffalo.

pan_workers.jpg
 

ISeenItFirst

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#18
Great pic. No idea where most of these pics are from. Nothing seems to match up between before and after too close. I have yet to see pics from the same spot with some progression. And they all have anomalies.
This one as well, although a good pic, and I would like to see the source, there are some odd things about it that do not strike me as normal construction. Deconstruction actually seems somewhat plausible here, although I could be open to other possibilities. It's a weird pic. (I have spent most of my adult life looking at construction, in person and in pictures, and often having to explain the issues or processes to laypersons.)
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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#19
at some point, someone has to specifically point out from the pictures that exist from this 1901 Pan Am that seem as if these buildings were built by some pre-Buffalo civilization. if you really study these buildings, they aren't so detailed. look at small things like the very shallow window frames. we have pictures of the usage of plaster and lathe. we have a useless canal system with concrete blocks on one side of the canal and dirt on the other side. certainly no high tech magic. every phrase on every column is in english. every exterior was painted and doll'd up.

then take a look at the inside of every building, it's all visibly wood framed. the entire insides of these buildings are as basic as expected for 1900.

Tartar Rex would be very disappointed with this inside construction. Those columns would insult him...

pan_wooden4.jpg


That's plain old wood.

pan_wooden.jpg


It's no St. Petersburg inside...

pan_wooden2.jpg


Can't tell me this is the inside of a grand palace. We didn't gut the inside and drop pine floors and raise oak beams...

pan_wooden3.jpg


i dunno, the other possibility to deconstruction is precisely what we are told of it... it was *constructed*. Buffalo was not the land of some paradise, overly symmetrical, useless canal system all the while 4 miles away in downtown Buffalo, there we have the real Tartarian buildings that were all razed.
 

ISeenItFirst

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#20
Staff (plaster) may easily be bent, sawed, bored, or nailed. That’s wiki info. Definitely could be used as a temporary ornamental decoration. The issue here is that it still requires the same skills and time to produce the ornaments. From this stand point its irrelevant what material was used.

As far as stractural integrity goes, this plaster staff is worthless obviously. A natural question to ask would be pertaining to materials used for bridges for example.


And buildings like this. Is this wood covered in plaster?


We have a similar issue with the 1916 world expo in San Francisco. Here is the quote from SF of 1916, “Constructed from temporary materials (primarily staff, a combination of plaster and burlap fiber), almost all the fair's various buildings and attractions were pulled down in late 1915. Intended to fall into pieces at the close of the fair (reportedly because the architect believed every great city needed ruins).”

Below is what those temporary buildings were on the inside. Do they look temporary?


I, personally, do not believe that everything was dug out as far as late 19th, early 20th century expos and buildings go. Some were, and dome were not. Obviously they were built by somebody. I do not believe the events took place the way they were described to us. And this is exactly why we have no information and tons of inconsistencies.

For the above published article images. Isn’t it bizarre that there us not a single image of the construction of the objects covered by those articles?

Another very important thing to pay attention to in the photographs of the working exposition is the crowd. Yep, look carefully at those people and their clothing. My family friend happens to be a professional tailor. She said that it appears those people all wear custom suits and dresses.

My personal theory. We are witnessing photographs which belong to a totally different time frame. This is why we never see any construction photos. My guess would be the equipment used could not belong to the reported time frame.

I also consider that all different time/location expos existed at the same time, but were deliberately spread out in history.

Once again. The buildings were built. Only when, and by whom? Those buildings were not temporary, and were destroyed for a reason.
There is a LOT of steel in those demolition pics of the large building. The other looks more like wood, but those first two are clearly steel. And much of it with no visible rust, which is interesting for a lot of reasons. Doesn't look like Bethlehem beams, which weren't invented for another 10 years or so, but more like the narrow flange I beams that were being used prior to the Bethlehem beam. I see a lot of rivets and gusset plates as well as curved I beam trusses. This building is NOT wood and staff construction. Not that it couldn't have been finished that way, but that would add plenty of other technical hurdles.

at some point, someone has to specifically point out from the pictures that exist from this 1901 Pan Am that seem as if these buildings were built by some pre-Buffalo civilization. if you really study these buildings, they aren't so detailed. look at small things like the very shallow window frames. we have pictures of the usage of plaster and lathe. we have a useless canal system with concrete blocks on one side of the canal and dirt on the other side. certainly no high tech magic. every phrase on every column is in english. every exterior was painted and doll'd up.

then take a look at the inside of every building, it's all visibly wood framed. the entire insides of these buildings are as basic as expected for 1900.

Tartar Rex would be very disappointed with this inside construction. Those columns would insult him...

View attachment 4207

That's plain old wood.

View attachment 4208

It's no St. Petersburg inside...

View attachment 4209

Can't tell me this is the inside of a grand palace. We didn't gut the inside and drop pine floors and raise oak beams...

View attachment 4210

i dunno, the other possibility to deconstruction is precisely what we are told of it... it was *constructed*. Buffalo was not the land of some paradise, overly symmetrical, useless canal system all the while 4 miles away in downtown Buffalo, there we have the real Tartarian buildings that were all razed.
Nice job identifying wood species of floor and beams from that pic. Especially painted beams. I suppose those hex nuts and pole braces were oak too. Just teasing, no offense meant.

What the heck are those large dark fruits anyhow, they have similar looking things in a giant pickle jar in another pic.
I can't explain it, I just see the anomalous construction. All these pics of construction you've brought, thanks by the way, excellent work, and I've seen maybe 2 wheelbarrows. Not one hammer, not one trowel, a bunch of workers wearing white and looking fairly clean. We've got columns being lathed from the ground while the ceiling is already completed. Where did the scaffolds go? We've got I beams and hex nuts all over the place, some places rusty, others with nary a trace of oxidation. All supposedly completed at break neck speed.
What are those odd formations on the right and left of the workers that look like railroad ties. What is the box like thing in the front with two people standing next to it, one of whom couldn't hold still for the picture. Why is it hollow under and why does it appear set into the floor.

More time and study and I could come up with more, I am sure. Not least of which would include a basic engineering of solid wood beams, which sure seem to be carrying weight beyond their capacity, even with the webbing. (Probably why we see steel poles and hex nuts in many locations)

Those thin looking walls don't add up either, except by steel construction. There is just so much anomalous info in these pics

There are a lot of ways to skin a cat, but I surely wouldn't want my name associated with that construction, just based on what I've seen. If we had some building plans, I might be able to make better sense of it, and be more accepting. I've got a reputation as a guy who sees to it that things are built correctly, on time and on budget, and this doesn't look like that kind of job.

I've walked off jobs as recently as this year, because when the things falls down, no one is going to be able to say I had a hand in its construction.
 
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