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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Urban Life & Travel 
Thread started 18 Jan 2013 (Friday) 10:56
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Historical: 1978 Hartford Civic Center roof collapse

 
lar55
Senior Member
277 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Dec 2010
     
Jan 18, 2013 10:56 |  #1

35 years ago, on January 18, 1978, the roof of the Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut collapsed under the weight of snow and ice from a 10-day storm, and fell into the arena below. There were no people inside, so no injuries. But 5 hours before the collapse, about 5,000 people were attending a college basketball game in the Center. I call that a near miss of an unimaginable disaster.

The next Sunday, 4 days after the collapse, I was on the top level of the parking garage across the street taking pictures. I used my 35mm all-manual SLR with 50mm and 135mm lenses. The pictures are nothing to be proud of (I hope I've gotten better since then). I scanned my negatives and cleaned them up a little, and here are 6 of the less awful ones.

Downtown Hartford, January 22, 1978. Looking southeast from the top of the parking garage.

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Looking southwest. The middle of the roof fell into the arena, pushing both ends up.
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The arena is now like a big cereal bowl filled with scrap metal.
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On any other night, the last row of sections 232 and 233 would be counted among the worst seats in the house. Not this night.
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Twisted metal rises above the building, like some gruesome piece of art.
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Concrete and rebar versus snow. Snow won.
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Thanks for looking.



  
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RYGDWW
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93 posts
Gallery: 4 photos
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Joined Mar 2008
Location: Florida
     
Jan 18, 2013 19:07 |  #2

Excellent documentation of the damage. Amazing what forces piled up snow can have on a building...


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RYGDWW
Pete

  
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A ­ CUZ
Member
230 posts
Joined May 2011
     
Feb 17, 2013 11:55 |  #3

Very cool pics. Someone was just telling me recently about that, I've lived in CT for 24 years and never knew about that


Canon 60d | Canon 15-85 IS USM | Canon 85mm f/1.8 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 II

  
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lar55
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
277 posts
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Joined Dec 2010
     
Feb 17, 2013 21:12 |  #4

Thanks.

I didn't remember much about it, then I came across my old prints. I asked my Dad - he worked for the city at the time and was called in that night by the emergency dispatcher. He remembers it well. In contrast to the news reports, he says there were actually 3 people inside when it collapsed. Two restaurant workers were asleep in the restaurant, and an office work slept over in her office rather than drive home in the snow. That must have been quite a waking-up for them.




  
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Historical: 1978 Hartford Civic Center roof collapse
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