Karrie Jacobs


July 2, 2009


The Sears Tower “Ledge.” (Photo by Kichiro Sato for AP.) Courtesy of Archipreneur.

Oh, to be as open and trusting as five year old Anna Kane of Alton, Ill. I find that after many years of listening to architects and engineers talk about how they do the amazing things they do, I have less faith than I used to in their infallibility. Or maybe the infallibility of the design software upon which their professional reputations now rest. And there is something about the transparent overhang, whether we’re talking the Grand Canyon version, or the newly opened Sears Tower Ledge that spooks me.

Rationally speaking, I have no doubt that the bright boys at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and at MTH Industries, a glass and metal fabricator, know exactly what they’re doing. And that they’ve carefully calibrated the wind and tourist loads to over-engineer this under-engineered looking thingamajig. Irrationally speaking, I feel they’re tempting fate. Some primitive part of my brain is screaming, “No Anna! No!”

Oh, and the Sears Tower photo reminded me of that other picture of a girl floating in space:

Case Study House #22. (Photo by Julius Shulman. )