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Interesting facts about construction — part 3

A selection of interesting facts about construction
09.11.2021
Interesting facts about construction — part 3

The smallest skyscraper in the world

As there is the tallest skyscraper, so there is the smallest. And he is such not at all because he was built quite a long time ago and new houses seized the palm from him. No, this building is the fruit of a rather extraordinary scam, turned at the beginning of the last century in the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, USA. Thanks to the discovery of an oil field near the city in 1912, its population began to grow rapidly. In addition to other infrastructure, businessmen of that time urgently needed office buildings. Demand creates supply, and the most striking of them was the project of J. D. McMahon. He was ready to build an office center with a height of 480 feet (146 meters) worth $200,000. The amount at that time was considerable, but lower than expected for such a bold project. Having received the funds, McMahon built a small tower of 4 floors in the shortest possible time and disappeared from the city. Naturally, the investors filed a lawsuit, but the judge ruled in favor of McMahon. It turned out that the design drawings indicated the height not in feet, but in inches. Thus, according to the papers, it turned out that the builder fulfilled his part of the contract in full. The plaintiffs simply did not pay due attention to the study of the documents. The house is currently declared a Texas Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nightingale floors

In Japan, during the time of the ninja and shoguns, a special method of laying floors was invented, in which special brackets about 12 cm long were attached to the beams supporting the floorboards with the help of metal spikes. When a person steps on such a floor, the staples move and create sounds similar to birdsong. This structure was designed not at all to please the ears of the residents of the house, but in order to warn the inhabitants of a possible intruder. It is important to note that the more carefully the enemy stepped on such a floor, the sounds became louder. This was not the only obstacle in the way of the ninja, but, based on legends, it was she who stopped many mercenaries from making the decision to enter the shogun's chambers. The most famous building with singing floors was the Ninomaru Palace in Kyoto. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is now accessible to tourists.

Country of bunkers

Albania is a country that belonged to the socialist camp in the last century. It, like many other republics, was not spared by the fate of the participants in the Cold War, leaving behind an incredible defensive complex on its scale. In 1967, Enver Hoxha, the First Secretary and Supreme Commander of Albania, launched a program for bunkering the state. It has been held for almost 20 years. During this period, the Albanians managed to build more than 170,000 protective concrete structures, which is about 6 pieces per square kilometer. Bunkers are still an integral part of the Albanian landscape, some have been converted by locals into cafes, hotels or agricultural storage facilities.