We don't usually see traffic jams outside the World Headquarters of News Cut, but we had one this afternoon for about 10 minutes.
The problem? Falling glass from the Wells Fargo building at Seventh and Cedar in St. Paul.
MPR's Tom Weber was the Tommy-on-the-spot photographer.
Pat Skinner, the general manager of the building, said the window, which cracked over the weekend, fell while workers were attempting to remove it today.
Weber's picture reminded us of Boston's Hancock Tower by architect I.M. Pei, which was bedeviled by its inability to retain glass in its all-glass structure when it was built in the '70s, earning the nickname "the plywood palace."
Are we sure that the glass fell of its own accord - or was it simply a distraught banker reacting to the news that Wells Fargo must raise money in the wake of the latest financial "stress test?"
This is bad stuff. We once came upon an emergency scene on the sidewalk in Chicago where a window from the CNA Plaza killed a woman walking her child. The child was whisked away from the gory scene. All very sad, especially because the windows were a known problem. According to Wikipedia, an $18 million dollar settlement was paid. To this day, the firm physically checks each window monthly. Many other building owners in Chicago checked their windows for soundness, leading to a flurry of repairs and replacements. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNA_Plaza
Fortunately, in downtown St. Paul, there's little likliehood of any falling object hitting a human.
The best part was watching the cops try and direct traffic. They looked like the keystone cops.