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Wisconsin State Capitol (Third) Construction Disaster | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society

Photograph

Wisconsin State Capitol (Third) Construction Disaster

Wisconsin State Capitol (Third) Construction Disaster | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society
The third Wisconsin State Capitol after the unfinished South Wing collapsed on November 8, 1883. Defective workmanship and shoddy construction materials caused the nearly finished wing to collapse, killing six laborers and injuring twenty others. The accident created a scandal and provoked a public investigation. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of those who witnessed the collapse and he recalled it later in his autobiography, speaking of himself in the third person.
DESCRIPTION
The third Wisconsin State Capitol after the unfinished South Wing collapsed on November 8, 1883. Defective workmanship and shoddy construction materials caused the nearly finished wing to collapse, killing six laborers and injuring twenty others. The accident created a scandal and provoked a public investigation. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of those who witnessed the collapse and he recalled it later in his autobiography, speaking of himself in the third person.
RECORD DETAILS
Image ID:10480
Creation Date: 1883
Creator Name:Jones, N. P.
City:Madison
County:Dane
State:Wisconsin
Collection Name:Album 08 (State Capitol, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, [1848-1913])
Genre:Photograph
Original Format Type:photographic print, b&w
Original Format Number:Album 8.59
Original Dimensions:3 x 3.5 inches
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
"About this time a vivid tragedy had its life-long effect upon the incipient architect. Passing by the new [south wing] of the old State Capitol he was just in time to hear the indescribable roar of building collapse and see the cloud of white lime dust blown from the windows of the outside walls, the dust cloud rising high into the summer air carrying agonized human-cries with it....Whitened by lime dust as sculpture is white, men with bloody faces came plunging wildly out of the basement entrance blindly striking out about thier heads with their arms, still fighting off masonry and falling beams. Some fell dead on the grass under the clear sky. Others fell insensible. One workman, lime-whitened, too, hung head-downward from a fifth-story window, pinned to the sill by an iron-beam on a crushed foot, moaning the whole time. A ghastly red stream ran from him down the stone wall. Firemen soon came. Crowds appeared as though out of the ground and men frantically tugged and pulled away at the senseless mass of brick and beams to reach the moans... The youth stayed for hours clinging to the iron fence that surrounded the park, too heartsick to go away. Then he went home - ill. Dreamed of it all that night and the next and the next. The horror of the scene has never entirely left his consciousness and remains to prompt him to this day.
SUBJECTS
Men
Clothing and dress
Wisconsin State Capitol
Building failures
Building
Construction workers
Outdoor photography
Trees
Lawns

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Reference Details
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