Matters obvious and arcane, that are within the mind and sentience, but not in the ear, eye or lip
Matters that are good, right, in need of attendance, amplification and perpetuation
Matters that are wrong, unjust, in need of attendance, correction and elimination

To these ends submitted are here personal experiences, observations, attitudes and views for the recipient to ponder on




  Augustyniak, Architect 


Augustyniak, Architect 








Mr. Marian Z. Augustyniak, Architect
77 Cooper Street
New York, NY 10034
September 22, 2008

To the year 2008 US Presidential Candidates:
Senator John McCain, Senator Barack Obama

Elimination of the divide between the officers and “enlisted personnel” in the armed forces.

Dear Candidates:

Availing myself of the right our great country bestows, I ask of your view on and a plan to democratize the US Armed Forces by removing the humiliating chasm between the “officers” and “enlisted personnel”, just as President Truman, by the Executive Order 9981, terminated the segregation system. In fact all Armed Forces members, as direct employees of the United States, are officers.
My personal and of others experiences, research and thoughtful considerations led me to believe that such act would magnify the quality, capacity and prowess of the Armed Forces. In the following brief I present the historical and present state, needs for the reform and anticipated benefits.


Signature Augustyniak

Marian Zdzicho Augustyniak
CC: The U.S. President, Fellow Veterans, Congress members, Media



Purple Heart


The result of the President Truman’s Executive Order 9981 leading to the racial integration of the U.S. Armed Services was a revolutionary and a historical event for the United States.
      “WHEREAS it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of
      the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of
      treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's
      NOW THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the
      United States, by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States,
      and as Commander in Chief of the armed services, it is hereby ordered as
      1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there
      shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the
       armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

In its difficult task in implementing the order, the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, (Fahy Commission), succeeded in bringing the African-Americans into the positions, levels and opportunities of their white soldiers’ counterparts. Yet, although the commission fulfilled the integration order, it failed to carry out the order completely, that: “there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity”.
Some of these standards are unrealized to this day. There still exists a patently undemocratic dichotomy within the Armed Services. The Armed Services are divided into the officer caste, which enjoys the powers, privileges, and domination and into these whom they rule over, the “enlisted personnel”.

This dichotomy was created by the United States after defeating the king’s forces by their patriots and citizen-soldiers and gaining independence, was in a need to provide for the preservation of it. After the magnificent efforts and achievements in the political and social concepts, which still reverberate around the world, United States did not carry forth and build upon own experiences and the successes of the democracy, which it created.
As if the victory was irrelevant, in the formation of the defense forces the democratic views were abandoned. In the emulation of the English aristocratic, absolutist, chosen were the concepts for of the absolute dominance of the aristocracy over the common people. In consequence of the power to the few, The United States defense quality and capacity was reduced and limited to a tenth of the potential. The system was further reinforced and solidified by the existence of slavery, which served as a model. The emancipation of the slaves had no bearing, and was considered unrelated to the structures of the Armed Services.
The first significant and beneficial to the country manifestation of the inequities in the Armed Forces was brought home by the World War II GI’s, when millions of them found themselves ruled autocratically over by the arbitrarily appointed masters. After the war, the veterans demanded education. Their magnitude and thus political power democratized the education and brought forth the creation of the state universities for millions. Thus, the raised country’s education level and its dissemination ushered a new era of American leadership in the world’s affairs.
However, the actual relationships between the officers and the enlisted personnel remained mostly unchanged. The efforts to mitigate the chasm were ineffective. The most notable was the report of the Doolittle Board also known as the U.S. War Department Board on Officer and Enlisted Man Relationships published in May 27 1946. Its findings and recommendations were neutralized, and dispensed with. The only obvious offshoot of it was a stylistic sartorial change of the Army’s uniforms. Currently the Navy established a task force to research on how its enlisted personnel attire should be distinct from the higher ranks’ uniforms. It already accomplished a creation of the different from the Army’s new working attire.
President Truman in Executive Order 9981 declared that it was to create an equal opportunity for all members. The country benefited enormously when its Armed Services gained an access to a larger and more varied selection for their members. The integration also enriched the life and enhanced the concept of equality among these, who were previously denied such. Yet, still, the racial integration, an enormous step toward the democratization of the armed forces, made a little headway in the officer - enlisted personnel relationship. The newly equated African Americans were fitted into the existing, separate and unequal, established divide. As before, the traditional wall still thwarted an upward movement and advancement on merit, regardless of qualities, ability, performance, knowledge, and attitude.

The ongoing drastic changes in the nature of the military operations, postures, methods and equipment demand new approaches, organizations and attitudes. The basic tenet is the maximum, most efficient use of all personnel, its interchangeability, and adaptation to varying requirements. The command system is straining under the influx and emerging constantly new circumstances.
The military operations in a war or warlike actions are conducted in full reliance upon the input and integration of multifaceted sources of knowledge.
The overall dependence on the technological equipment, scientific analyses, and knowledge levels of the personnel, eliminate the synthetic restrictions of the capacities to perform. From the less and less relevant superior-inferior system emerges the concept of the teamwork.
The high level decision making is relegated to the results of these elements’ inputs and projections.
In a large measure, the actual decisions are a product of the integrated and automated processes. It imposes an unprecedented responsibility on the personnel, which conducts directly the computer operations, software manipulations, data gathering, and analysis, and communicators, which produce the outcome. The common efforts are a composite of the individual acts. The individual performance and input of each member is essential to the success of any operation. It is conducive to the overlapping of positions and responsibilities.

In this new environment the balance of knowledge and education between the highly trained in the sophisticated equipment and technologies, and the traditional training of officers is tipping away from the officers, whose traditional knowledge and training trails. The ten year old training is obsolete and inapplicable in a current state of warfare. Static setups of yesteryear have no place in a well functioning assembly, or a teamwork into which the efficiency, capability, and purposefulness lead. As an indication of the obfuscation and eroding differences is the diminishing ratio of the officers to enlisted personnel. Once it was twelve to one, at present is six to one and diminishing. It is paramount that the country avails itself of and benefits the most from the six-fold creation of a pool from which to select the best.

The quasi independence of the branches from each other is wasteful of personnel and resources, contains redundancies, inefficiencies and avoidable waste. It allows for only a limited coordination of actions and overall controls and management. A full unification would make the Armed Services more efficient, equitable and manageable. For example, the current Navy Uniform Task Force could be, in a more military assignment, utilized as a reconnaissance unit in Iraq and Afganistan. The Army and Marines with compatible equipment, training, and organizational structure would seamlessly operate in actions as one element. The polyglots and any other expert personnel in any branch could be readily assigned to the branch and areas as, when, and where needed.
In conclusion: The implementation of the abolition of the officer-enlisted personnel divide, and the here presented measures, will result in and are essential for the elevated quality, efficiency, and equitability of the Armed Forces, indispensable to the well being of the country.

MZA March 16, 2006, Sept 11, 2008

Patterned on the EO 9981

WHEREAS, it is essential that there shall be created and maintained in the Armed Services of the United States highest standards of equality, dignity, and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense:
NOW THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States,
and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Services, it is hereby ordered as follows:
1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of standing, treatment, endowed with dignity, and opportunity for all persons in the armed services, therefore, it is ordered that the present separation of the armed forces personnel into two divisions consisting in one part of officers and other part of enlisted personnel shall be totally and wholly abolished, and that both divisions become one, and whole. As all members of the armed forces are in fact the United States Government Officers, they all shall be recognized as such without an exception. The division known until now as the “enlisted men and women” is hereby eliminated forthwith, and all Armed Services members shall be officers.

2.There shall be unification of equipment, procedures, rights, regulations and training in basic military skills so as to permit the interchangeability of personnel among each and any of the Armed Services branches, components, and units,  whenever desirable and  possible for the efficiency, propriety, relevance  and utilization to achieve maximum efforts in any assigned tasks.
3. There shall be created in the Department of Defense and Attorney General Office an
advisory committee to be known as the President's Committee on Designation of all Armed Services personnel as officers, and the unification of all services, branches and divisions into a fully functional entity, which shall be composed of seven members to be designated by the President.
4.The Committee is authorized on behalf of the President to examine into the rules, procedures and practices of the Armed Services in order to
determine in what respect such rules, procedures and practices, efficiency and modernization, updating the organizations and interchangeability of personnel among the services may be altered or improved with a view to carrying out the policy of this order.
The Committee shall study, confer, and shall make such recommendations to the President as in the judgment of the Committee will effectuate the policy hereof…








 WTC Tower As was




Basic and pertinent to the events that took place on the September 11, 2001 was the structural philosophy of erecting a tall, light and resilient structure. Its underlying guide was the economy of construction, efficiency, maximum usable space and a short construction time. This brave new world was created at the expense of solidity, stiffness, redundancy, safety and the durability of the structure.

What was created, a la Erector Set,  was a bolted structure, a shell of steel, aluminum, plastic and glass column 208 feet square, 1353 foot high, anchored at the bottom. It was analogous to a giant corrugated cardboard box. Inside this box there was another box, a core. The core was structurally free standing, of similar to the shell height, composed of steel, concrete, and gypsum board, containing elevators, stairs, pipes, and other service equipment. To both boxes affixed were, and burdened by, 110 horizontal elements constituting floors. That's that. 

Bolts holding 110 stories



The floors were supported by an open web (top and bottom cords are steel angles and between them are steel rods inserted in a zigzag pattern) steel joists, in WTC literature sometime incorrectly referred to as trusses, spanning sixty feet. On their tops the joists were covered with corrugated metal sheets, topped with a concrete layer of about four inches. The joists rested four inches on, and were connected by two 5/8 inch diameter steel bolts to the perpendicular to them, joist girders or beams. These were the only connections of the exterior and interior boxes, the walls and the core, and served only as a support means for the floors. They did not contribute substantially to the coherence, stiffness and solidity of the structure.

To provide a stability and stiffness to resist the wind forces, a triangle, as a most rigid shape, is utilized in a diagonal, cross-bracing of the structures. This is evident in a variety of tall buildings of which architects make a virtue of the bracing and exhibit it on the facades. The Towers had no wind bracing. Both boxes, the exterior shell and the interior core, were not bonded structurally to each other. Without indispensable cross bracing, they were free to behave independently. Thus, when wind forces were exerted on the shell, the core gave only a minimal support through the joist connections. The open web joist floors were light, flexible and capable of carrying designed static loads. However, they could not provide adequate structural bracing to counteract the dynamic wind loads. The asbestos fireproofing sprayed on the joists and underneath the metal deck did not contribute to the rigidity, as the concrete fireproofing would

Joists held with 2 bolts



This system provided for a very light, efficient solution. The trade off was the lack of the rigidity and solidity resident in a standard reinforced concrete floors and concrete encased steel beams. Above all, the missing there cross bracing would have created rigidity of the entire structure. These qualities were necessary to assure the stability of the structure buffeted by strong winds, sometimes of a hurricane force, on a 300,000 square feet sail like surface.

Throughout its life of some thirty years, in high winds (as in a hurricane in late seventies) while the core remained relatively still, the buildings' outer shell moved, rocked and swayed rhythmically like an upside down pendulum in a grandfather clock. Although the upright elements deviated from the vertical, the weight of the components caused the floor to remain in a horizontal plane. The joists were pushed against the core or, pulled away from it. This produced a change in the angle of connections of the beams or joists and columns, creating stresses at the connections. The ends of beams and joists were sliding back and forth under the bolt heads and nuts. The stresses were such that they produced loud creaking, screeching sounds, especially in the core's stairs. The water in plumbing fixtures flopped back and forth to the rhythm of the swaying towers. The swaying also produced dizziness in occupants. As a matter of standard practice they left the towers during windy conditions.

In my October 27th 2001, original submission to the Congressional Investigating Committee and Gov. Thomas Ridge, analysis of September 11th 2001, I mentioned structural connections as possible to be bolted. I mentioned this as one of the alternates, but I was convinced that they were welded. I based this premise on the superiority of welded connections, while the actual methods, "as built”" were inaccessible to me. The most important is the connections’ strength under a variety of conditions. The bolts diameters and compositions limits are dictated by the thickness of the connected elements. The bolt and bolted material always remain two separate entities. Welding integrates and unifies connected steel elements by melting them into one, and commonly adding more of similar material to make the weld stronger, if need be, stronger than the connected pieces. An alternate connection system could also have been riveting (Eiffel Tower, Brooklyn Bridge).

As the welding creates a monolithic piece, the result is a one continuous element of same qualities. Another advantage of welding is the accessibility and flexibility in the assembly. Further, there is little chance to inspect and verify the actual force which holds the two bolted pieces together. A torque wrench commonly used to tighten the nuts may show exact readings, which can be only distantly related to the functional holding force. In contrast, the verification of welded elements can be performed visually and by a variety of devices, including sound and X-Rays, and if found wanting, corrected.

Were the welding connections method used, the joists connections to the core and perimeter wall beams would have withstood the lateral forces created by the plane's impact and would have been held in place, without springing off the connections. The exterior columns and entire panels would have retained their monolithic qualities. There would have been no breakup of the columns into 12 feet long segments, and the planes would have fallen to the ground outside the towers. There still would have been a loss of some three hundred lives, besides those of the planes' occupants. The victims would have been those who were in towers at the impact sides when glass and frames together with the fragments of the planes burst into the buildings, and the people outside, in the south front at Liberty Street, and inside the south section of the WTC 6, the U.S. Customs Office.

The main perimeter walls were erected from the offsite prefabricated three stories, 36 feet long panels consisting of three steel box columns for a width of ten feet. The length of each column was made up of three twelve feet sections which were bolted together. While welding would have been an easy matter, bolting each column sections end to end required more effort. At each end there was welded a one quarter inch thick steel plate closure with four holes for bolts. Each plate was matching the cross section of the column, or was about fourteen inches square, giving the weld length of fifty six inches, or twice that for each column perimeter. In effect the plate resting on top of the column below was a base plate. As such it required a precise alignment and a full contact with the plate below. A lack of it caused the connecting bolts to be stressed unevenly. In the columns erection there was no way to access, insert the bolts and screw the nuts on and tighten them. To permit this,1inch bolts were pre-inserted at one end of a column through the plate and their heads fastened at the back. During the erection the column ends, one with the bolts in and other with holes, were aligned and brought to bear. Still there was no way to access the bolts, now inside the column. As a solution, the openings were burned out at the columns ends with the same equipment used also for welding. The holes were typically seven inches wide and ten inches high. A removal of a part of the column cross section affected its structural configuration and capacity in several ways. In simplification, the seven inches gap in a column of fifty six inches perimeter reduced its bearing capacity by 12.5 percent. There were no two ways. Either, the columns were over-designed, with the waste of steel and extra weight to allow the holes in them, or their structural strength and capacity were inadequate for the task.

Openings cut in columns



These were the conditions prior to the Eleventh of September 2001. In the attack both towers were subjugated to similar forces and reacted similarly, although there were differences that had bearing on sequences of the collapse. Under the impact of the Boeing 767’s on the exterior walls, the joists were pushed toward the core or beams to which they were fastened and held together at each end by two, threaded 5/8 inch bolts. The impact, encountering resistance, while pushing forward also caused joists to bend and warp. In consequence the force exerted on holding bolts was not a straight shear, or a cross slicing the bolts, but also an upward or downward pressure stressing the bolt connections in tension. This in turn exerted force on the nuts or rather their threads. The threads are actually the only bolt elements that bear directly the force exerted. Even by a visual inspection of the threads stripped to the smooth, bare shafts it was evident that the threads were insubstantial in area and the weakest element of the bolt connections. It must also be considered that for thirty years these bolt threads were subjected to the dynamic stresses, tensions, and compressions as the sway of the building dictated. In consequence the threads were loosened, rusted, eroded and worn out by the internal friction. Their design strength, grossly inadequate, was further compromised. The thermal expansion and contraction, especially of the bolts holding the external columns, more a subject to the vagaries of weather, added to the degradation of the connections. Naturally, the wind sway affected also vertical members, the exterior columns. The deviation from vertical had somewhat less severe effect since it was incrementally spread over the entire height of the walls. The towers, flexible by design, no longer acted as a structural unity because the multiple impacts dislodged or broke the structural connections of the horizontal to the vertical components. Although, while the horizontal, floor components still were in place they were no longer fully supported by the wall structure, with separated, broken or weakened connections. These conditions arose at the direct impact, before the fire started and took its toll.

Parted columns ends



Bolt connections failure



Were these connections of adequate strength and held the floors to the core and exterior wall, the floor structure would have provided resistance to the fall of the several floors above the fire although several times heavier than the design loads. Each lower floor would have partially absorbed and retained part of the falling material. This reduction of the total weight, dropping through several floors would cause the fall to come to its end. The airplanes’ fuel contained within the crash area would spill over the collapsed floors and would burn out sooner. This reduced burning duration would diminish the exposure of the steel to the fire and its consequent loss of strength.


In both cases, when the airplane hit the exterior wall, the vertical column to column connections gave under the impact, the wall was pierced and the individual columns broke off at the joints and were pushed inside, outside and apart. The plane entered the building through the void thus created. The plane's impact force was then transferred consecutively to the girders, center core and finally, again horizontally, to the opposite wall as well as to the side walls. Reaching the opposite wall this lateral shock momentarily pushed it out of vertical, to the outside. The floors above and below the impact assumed a distorted line. The other walls, east and west, in the North Tower, and north and west of the South Tower underwent some structural damage through the impact force and through the floor structure acting laterally on them. However, these walls retained a large part of their original strength and the box qualities. So did the floor area between these walls and the core. The core itself was least damaged and held most of its strength. This state contributed in a large measure to the towers remaining upright for a period that permitted an evacuation of the towers' occupants.

When the plane next impacted on the central core of steel, reinforced concrete and gypsum board of the North Tower it broke up and its fragments, including the engine, continued to and penetrated the far wall. In the South Tower the plane mostly skirted the core and rammed the east wall. This second impact again sent forces to the far wall, which likely did not yet bounce back from the first shock and did not return to the original, vertical position. The wall was further pushed out of plumb, and after only a partial recovery remained out of plumb. The dislodgement of the perimeter walls from the vertical destabilized them. Even as the leaning walls were still held in place by the side walls and remained tied to the core by the joists with connections that still remained after the original impact, their eventual collapse was inevitable.


The North Tower was hit squarely on its northern face above the 96th floor level, albeit the plane was somewhat tilted with the left wing lower than the right, and went in toward the north east of the core. The Boeing 767 measures approximately 20 feet from the bottom of the engines to the top of the fuselage. At the impact it covered two 12 feet high floors directly and destroyed one above and one below. As the airplane pierced the wall it disintegrated an 80 ft wide and 48 feet high part of it. The gap thus created was roughly the width of the plane from outside to outside the engines. The wall’s exterior columns, a 12 feet long sections stacked one on top of the other for 110 stories, and held together by four one inch thick bolts at each section joint, gave only a minimal resistance. Under the blow, the impacted section and adjacent area separated, and the individual column segments torn loose were flying off in every direction.

B roken columns ejeted



The impacted floors, of metal deck with four inches concrete fill resting on open web joists, crumbled. In its main thrust, the plane continued until it reached the core. There, the impacting fuselage and fuel tanks were stopped, except for an engine and smaller pieces that missed the core and came out the other side.

In the North Tower the core collapsed first, as was evident from the TV tower mounted on its top, when it began descending in a straight line, while the rest of the building still remained erect. This vertical descent needs to be considered from several aspects. By all reckoning it should have been falling toward the damaged sections below. The remnants of the plane, penetrating the outer wall smashed into the core’s north side. Thus, only this side was damaged immediately and then continued to be weakened by the fire. At the impact height, the core was in the top, Zone 3, where the steel sizes were smallest, reduced at the 78th floor, the Skylobby. Nevertheless, there were 8 columns in a row, from the north to south side for a distance of some 120 feet, 6 columns abreast. All columns were well fireproofed, despite some jarring damage caused by the impact, particularly in the north row. The walls and elevator shafts enclosures acted also in the fire and heat arrest. In these circumstances there was no way in which the entire core could be weakened by fire at the same time. The north side would have failed first and then collapsing, dragged other columns, consecutively and arriving at the TV tower would have removed its north side supports and caused it to lean and fall northward. The survivors reported that after the impact the south side stairs were damaged but usable. This indicated that the original damage was limited to the north side. 

There were two possibilities. The first is that after the plane’s penetration of the north wall and arrest by the core, most of the fuel was in the central portion of the building. Its velocity brought some of it east and west around the core where, after initial explosion remained burning. This fire was augmented by other materials present. Eventually the heat thus produced penetrated the already damaged fireproofing and softened the steel sufficiently to succumb to the weight of the floors above. When the outside steel columns of the core lost their rigidity they buckled. The buckled columns structurally tied together affected other in the core and acted in unison degrading their main function of holding up the floors. As the core was their main supporting element, the floors above began to sink. Without further restraints these floors, now one element, fell on the floors below the breach. The floors connections to the shell and core were inadequate and many were damaged, so that these walls could not restrain the fall. Consequently the top floors, joined by those they fell on, were in a free fall, taking with them the outside walls and the core.  

The other variant is that the fuel which entered the building and stopped at the core spilled in a large volume into the elevator and utility shafts. When a large volume of fuel fell at the same time, it exploded. This was the visible orange fire ball blowing out of the tower’s low floors. A sizable volume of the fuel reached and collected at the first floor level and below. The elevator shafts acted as chimneys with a flue effect. The fires generated much more intense heat in these confined areas then the fires above, where the heat was dissipating in the open. The fires of the kerosene pools were persistent and prolonged. Inside the shafts, with steel columns at its walls, the heat was building up like in a furnace.  The concrete has a high thermal conductivity. When the heat penetrated the fire protection and raised the temperature of steel to and over 700 degrees Fahrenheit, the steel became softer and gradually lost its full structural strength. There was a very little chance for the steel columns to withstand the bearing on them a weight of a hundred stories. A degradation of their stiffness caused the columns to begin to buckle under the load, initiating a chain reaction. The columns above the buckling deprived of a support subsided. As the core consisted of one structure tied together, the sinking of its part had drawn the rest with it as a whole, to the top floor and roof. The slight sagging of the core initially affected the exterior wall box minimally. Both boxes were tied together by the floors construction with weak connections which bent or distorted, without a complete failure. The intermediate heights of the exterior box columns resisted the tugging successfully. The only effect was a change of the floor elevations which became lower at the core.

At the top the exterior box perimeter columns terminated, depriving the wall of the stabilizing elements above. The roof acted as a lead to the box. It was rigid, solidly affixed to both boxes, the perimeter walls and the core, and constituted one element with them. When the core at the roof level subsided, affixed to it roof structure tugged the edge of the perimeter box inward and brought its top segments to lean upon the roof. As the core continued to sink it dragged the roof structure and the top of the perimeter wall down. The TV tower on the roof followed it, going down straight and upright. The sinking and dragging precipitated the collapse of each floor in succession from the top down.


The South Tower was hit on its southern face, but not squarely as the North Tower. Instead, perhaps for the inability of the terrorist pilot to aim the plane after a sharp turn, the plane impacted some two fifths of the width from the south east corner and askew in this direction at some thirty degrees from the perpendicular to the wall. It mostly skirted the core in its path, which remained relatively intact. Had the plane encountered it, the core would have arrested its movement, as it happened in the North Tower. As it was, piercing and disintegrating the entry area, the bulk of the plane continued to the east wall and impacted it from within. The explosion of the fuel in a fireball pushed out the adjacent to the breach columns. 


36 ft hole destroys support



 The damage caused to this wall was as extensive as this done to the south wall. On the south side the plane destroyed some eighty feet, the east side wall was broken up seventy feet, for the height of three floors. The critical aspect of the gap was the elimination of the continuity of the whole structure. Its south east quadrant lost support of twenty four columns at the south and twenty one at the east. This created a gap 36 feet in height over which there was an overhang some 26 stories, or 312 feet in height, from 84th floor to the 110th and the roof. It was an untenable structural deficiency.

The fire raging at the gap did not affect the outcome critically. The aviation fuel, kerosene, the highest heat producing element within the building, burned itself out in perhaps thirty minutes. A large part of the estimated 10,000 gallons was immediately consumed in the initial fiery explosion within the building.  As the kerosene fire consumed most of the available oxygen, the contribution of the concurrent burn of other flammable materials was insignificant. After that, the fire was sustained by the materials present, furnishings, and compacted paper documents mostly filed in steel cabinets which restrained their burn, and were rather charred and smoldering. The furnishings were sparse. Some were metal and gypsum partitions, acoustic tile ceilings, paint, flame resistant, self extinguishing plastic, wood furniture and wool carpets. These were sources of fire and contributed to the heat but of lower intensity. However, they did generate massive volumes of smoke. The floor supporting joists subjected to this heat softened and sagged. Yet, the sagging did not change the loads on the columns. The burn did not cause the main steel to fail. The critical support of the overhang, the corner column, by its position was away from the intense fire.

SW South Tower as was



The south-east corner column, with one at each side of it, survived the initial impact . It became a sole bearer of the load between the core and the perimeter wall for an area of 70 by 80 feet. Normally, the corner columns strength was far above required to support the floors. Their main purpose was to provide stiff corners to the box. When the other supports were destroyed this column and one or two adjacent bore the transferred load. The overhang despite the lack of cross bracing and rigidity, acted as a unit together with the adjacent, undamaged portions which gave it a partial support. Yet the total weight was too much for stabilization of the conditions. Lacking were stiff, moment, joint connections such as welding would have provided. The bolts in some cases acted as fulcrums about which steel members began to pivot. Under stresses the bolts were snapping, the threads were slipping through the nuts, and steel's ends were being torn through, letting the bolts, and the connected steel free. The entire overhang began to sink. This was a gradual, imperceptible at first, but steadily accelerating process until the movement reached a critical point. Then, in a huge cascade of broken individual 12 feet column segments, floors fragments and innards that the overhang collapsed and disintegrated, declaring the doom of the South Tower.

 .Hole causes collapse




To put it in other words, were the structures of WTC designed to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude seven on the Richter scale, they would be still standing. To wit: The AT&T Company which is historically dedicated to a strong, solid construction erected the building that suffered only surface damage, while  adjacent to it the WTC 7, of similar to WTC's buildings construction, collapsed, even if not from the same fire. Were the Towers spared, in a decade they would have to be vacated and disassembled for safety, perhaps after a collapse of a floor or two.

Still another shortcoming was the lack of rescue systems, equipment and concepts in fire and other disasters. Such dangerous conditions existed in tall buildings for decades, for which no remedy was provided and still they are amiss. Was there anyone viewing this tragedy who did not think of some net, air bag, or foam put in place that would receive and save the victims? It is a tragedy also that there were materials and technologies to create such safeguards. All that was needed was a a system, whether air bags, bubbles, foam, net or lattice that would bring to stop a person weighing 200 pounds falling 160 miles per hour, without serious harm. A deceleration to zero for such effect requires less than 20 feet. The feasibility of such systems was attested to by the successful January 2004 delivery of Rovers to Mars. There are also aerial rescue possibilities, such as roof pickups and helicopters' suspended cages at the sides of buildings.

Another consideration is of the structural concept of using bolts as the means of fastening and holding together major structural elements. It is a prevailing method in erection of high buildings, and indeed in most of steel construction in the United States. The bolting method is wrought with uncertainties, inaccuracies and unreliability. Main detractors are: rust, loosening of connections under wind sway, thermal expansion, inconsistency, and structural, not easily detectable flows in bolts, washers and nuts. The indications in the commonly used in fastening torque wrenches are not precise and at variance with the actual forces. Their false readings are caused by the uneven threads friction, temperature at time of connecting, and a lack of reliable verification methods. There is no better example of it than the Towers. There is no justification, structural and economic, to continue the use of bolts as a primary means of holding together tall structures. The bolting syndrome driving the construction industry has to be arrested and reduced to the low, for short lifespan warehouses and commercial buildings. The welding has to be the standard for the structural steel construction. There is ample experience, knowledge, and understanding to amplify the guides, standards, and procedures to assist and rely on in the implementation of welding processes. A scarcity of the competent journeymen, may be a drawback , but which can be remedied in two or three years. Also, it has to be noted that the reliance on the steel as a primary structural and construction material has to be revised and modified to incorporate and integrate with other materials and technologies..


The current standards originated in the nineteenth century and were perpetuated without extensive efforts to verify, test and improve them. Consider The American Society for Testing Materials, ASTM  E119: "Loss of integrity is deemed to have occurred when a specified cotton wool pad applied to the unexposed face is ignited."

A continuous and extensive research is needed to update and expand the safety directives. Although there are numerous entities, governmental, public and private that concern themselves with the safety, quality, appearance and functionality of the buildings and their construction, generally they are slow to act, sometimes are without an authority to do so and are limited to verbalization. As professionals, the architects, engineers, designers and constructors, including also the owners and investors, have some leeway in the selection of construction methods and materials. Theirs is to choose for safety, durability, as well as the esthetics, economy and the prevention of human loss and tragedy, in facilitation of the Constitution mandated "Pursuit of Happiness".


The Port Authority, the manager, had the Center organized for fire emergencies. Each Tower floor had a fire warden in charge of the emergencies, and periodically conducted fire drills. In the bewilderment and chaos that the attack created, these measures served in good stead, and the wardens must be given due recognition for assisting in Towers’ evacuation. The failure to evacuate the floors above the fires may be laid in part to the lack of anticipation of such circumstances, but mostly to a lack of communications. At the North Tower there were usable, if damaged, stairs accessible from the south west. At the South Tower the north east stairs were open. This escape window was short, perhaps a quarter of an hour before the fire, heat, and smoke blocked the way out. However, there were no means to communicate these roads to safety. There was no clear cut central authority in command of all emergencies at the Center that would receive, evaluate and act upon the information from any source. These who succeeded in negotiating the stairs had no one to report this way of escape. Also, for this to help, a Public Address system was necessary. A PA system, as well as a central authority, that has built in redundancies and bypasses to insure its functioning in catastrophic conditions. There were adequate stairs for the evacuation. However, all were located in a central core, short distances from each other, so that the fires blocked access to most of them. Their proper location was at the opposite ends of the building, accessible from any part of it. Further, the Towers, as all other individual tall buildings in a densely built areas, should have been connected at several levels by passages to provide emergency means of escape for the occupants.



Remainder steel








SW South Tower As was




Each of the towers of the New York World Trade Center consisted of two boxes. The exterior box was an outside perimeter wall of 110 12 feet long steel columns stacked on top of each other and held together by 1 inch diameter bolts. The interior box was a core made of steel, concrete and gypsum board containing elevators, stairs, facilities and utilities. Both boxes supported, affixed to them by 5/8 inch diameter bolts, 110 floors composed of a metal deck with 4 inch concrete on steel joists. In the absence of the cross bracing and rigid, moment connections the towers, subjected to winds and other climatic conditions swayed and moved inordinately. In severe conditions, as in a hurricane, the occupants vacated the towers.

The connecting bolts and nuts, or more precisely their threads, for thirty years were continuously subjected to the resultant strains and stresses. In consequence, the threads were worn out, loosened, and, subjected to the vagaries of weather, rusted.

When on September 11th 2001 the terrorists attacked the towers, the Boeing 767 planes impacting on the perimeter walls broke up the columns’ connections. The individual columns fell apart and away, and the planes, with the load of fuel, continued inside until they reached the next wall and the fuel ignited and exploded. 

The North Tower received the blow on its north side, in the center of 96th story. The plane, somewhat to the east, was arrested at the core causing some damage to it. The fuel aflame surged east and west of the core, with a large part of it spilling into the elevator shafts.

The first interpretation of the mechanics of the collapse is that the fuel spread over the east and west side of the core which was damaged on its north side. The fire caused its structural steel and the steel above to heat up, soften and thus lose its strength, and under the weight of the structure above, collapse. The floors below could not contain the falling load and went down also. As the north side of the core was damaged it should collapse first, causing the TV tower at the roof to lean and fall to the north. Yet, it went down straight and upright, until it vanished in the tumult.

The TV tower’s vertical descent indicated that the entire core on which top’s it was erected, collapsed as a unit. When the fuel fell to the elevator shafts’ bottom it became a contained large pool aflame. The elevator shaft acted as a flue. As there was adequate oxygen supply, its bottom became a furnace, creating and increasing heat. The overheated framing and adjacent steel columns buckled and subsided under the weight of 110 stories, which followed the downward movement, with the TV tower erect. 

The plane flown into the South Tower impacted its south side at an angle. Breaching the wall it continued inside, skirted the core’s south east corner and impacted the east wall from within. The fuel exploded in a fireball and pushed out broken apart columns at both walls. The result were holes in the south and east wall of the tower 80 feet wide and 48 feet high, with a void between them. The floors above the gap became a 36 stories overhang. The south east corner column survived and was its only, but temporary, support. The unaffected structure to the north and west of the gap held it in place but the lack of cross bracing and stiff connections caused the already weakened bolt connections to act as pivots for the structure, and the overhang, imperceptibly at first, began to sink, overstressed the corner column and collapsed.

Apart from the original fire ball explosion the burning fuel and furnishings fires had a minimal effect on the collapse, but spewed enormous volumes of smoke. 


Were the WTC towers designed to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude 7 on the Richter scale, they would be still standing.

The use of bolts and nuts as main structural connectors in tall buildings is wrought with uncertainties and should be abandoned for welding. The governing standards must be thoroughly reviewed and updated for safety. No insufficient consideration is given to the means of egress in populated tall structures. In the densely built areas separate buildings should be connected by passages at several levels to afford their occupants additional means of escape. Despite the available technologies and materials there are no adequate emergency organizations, equipment and rescue systems applicable to tall buildings.

Bolts holding 110 stories

 1 inch and 5/8 inch bolts that held upright the 110 stories Towers
(Size comparison US quarter dollar and 1 Euro)


 Reminder steel





Augustyniak, Architect


There is no question that the decision of bolting of the towers’ main structural components was ill conceived and ultimately grossly contributed to the catastrophe. The Towers’ actual structural connections method was analyzed and presented in detail elsewhere. An alternate connection system could have and should have been welding. Had it been so, the foreseeable consequences would have been as follows.

As the plane fuselage was not designed for a frontal impact, as would be a battering ram, when the impact occurred the fuselage front striking the wall of steel columns crumbled. There were five 14 inches wide on the face columns struck by the fuselage. The resulting load was evenly distributed over the entire area of the columns. It is considered that the fuselage aluminum alloy structure was composed of structural rings, like hoops on a barrel or a pipe, some seventeen feet in diameter. Thus the rings did exert most force on the columns, with two points of impact at each column. In addition there was the force exerted by the deck structure spanning the ring diameter,  which acted like a wedge. This impact load was distributed to three points in a 17 feet column segments. The columns buckled and bent inward under the impact, and also conveyed the forces upward and downward. The spaces between the columns were penetrated by the plane’s collapsed and broken outer shell as well as the innards. After the first moment of the impact which established the pattern of the plane’s structural behavior and disintegration, it continued for 15 feet until the next major element came in contact with two columns. It was the undercarriage of the front wheels. The carriage was designed to absorb heavy loads longitudinally and vertically and was therefore solidly tied to the planes’ main structure. The width of its structural support covered two building columns which took the brunt of the impact at this moment. Each affected column, originally a hollow box was at least partially squashed. This deformation reduced their structural strength to that of flat plates. This was a critical moment in which the undercarriage might have sheared the flattened column through. The entire carriage assembly, held back by the impact separated from the fuselage which continued to crash and squash against the columns. The penetration, if it occurred, was local and did not lead to the penetration of the wall by the fuselage. The continued crashing force did not accumulate as it was absorbed continually and passed on to other parts of the structure. By the time the collapsing of the fuselage reached the wings and the engines the speed of the plane was reduced sufficiently for the columns to arrest the plane’s motion, without being breached. There, stalled mostly outside the building, the plane heeled tail down and fell off the facade. The impact bent affected columns inward for four floors and this distortion remained. Above and below this segment the columns recovered.

The Port Authority which generally adhered to but was not bound by the New York City, State or National codes, applied its own concepts as to what the regulations and needs were. Also, the Steel Construction Manuals were inadequate and did not cover some of the situations applicable to the construction of the Center. These well detailed regulations and standards were incorrect, overly optimistic and contributed to the disaster. It is to be noted that WTC 6, the US Customs Office construction followed federal building codes and the building was stronger than the rest of the center. Because of the higher construction standards it survived to the point that with an effort could have been reclaimed and restored. This could not be said about the WTC 7 building, across the street, reasonably safe from the fire, debris and heat of the Towers, but which collapsed.

There still had been a loss of some three hundred lives, besides those of the planes' occupants. The victims were those who were in the Towers at the impact sides when glass and window frames together with the fragments of the planes burst into the buildings. Also the people outside, in the south front at the Liberty Street, and inside the south section of the WTC 6, the U.S. Customs Office. The entire tragic event in each case, allowing for some entanglements of the plane in the building structure before the fall, lasted no more than 2 -3 minutes. This was a far too short time for the people inside to realize what was happening and to escape.

 The WTC 6 was separated from the North Tower by a 30 feet wide passage to the West Street. The plane falling off the north façade hit the south wall of the WTC 6 and was wedged between both buildings. In this confined area the exploding and spreading fuel penetrated the destroyed walls of both buildings. The open space between these two buildings was always scarcely populated, but still, there were several victims. In the affected area government employees were already at work, and in the Tower there were passersby, shoppers and the people serving them. The casualties reached two hundred victims. As the WTC 6 building had adequate exits to the north and east, and being only six stories high, the remaining people would have been evacuated safely in a short time. Also the people in the Tower after the initial fire burst escaped through the interior passages and spaces. As the actual events have shown, the Fire Department was very competent and capable of containing the fire and had done so without more loss to life.

 The South Tower was set back from the Liberty Street and the recess formed a plaza. From it at the south face there was a wide, glass entrance leading to the depressed level inside, reached by steps. There were many people traversing the plaza or simply enjoying the beautiful sunny weather before work. When the plane wreck fell on the plaza, its impact sent fire through the entrance, besides covering the entire plaza and the Liberty Street. To the east of the entrance there was a bank. It was before the opening time so only few people were at work near the south window wall. As many as a hundred people lost their lives at the plane’s impact on the wall and the Liberty Street entrance.

These were the consequences of the Towers being welded.







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Revised: 09/21/04, 08




The lower level being put under the George Washington Bridge was called Martha Washington.

Brownish in color Seagram Building on Park Avenue was identified as a Whiskey Building, and the two fountains in front of it: The chasers.

After the completion of Lincoln Center on Broadway there were proposals to extend the Central Park to it by demolishing the old houses between 63rd and 64th streets. This was considered only a half measure by critics who insisted that the demolition does not stop at the Center but continues straight through to the Hudson River.

In the Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera’s inaugural performance the weighty actors broke down the super tech revolving stage. The management never did repair the stage, instead, it banned these actors. Since then "Anthony and Cleopatra" and "Aida" are staged without the elephants.

MUSIC THEORY OF RELATIVITY (New York Can Do): After listening to a recording of Brahms’s REQUIEM conducted by von Karajan, the listener mentioned it to a conductor in New York, who just performed this work. "Slow", she commented. To an observation that it can’t well be played in a polka tempo, she responded: "It depends on who died".

Whatever the official excuse for the sloping roof of the Citibank Building, the architects, in a finest example of a form follows function, expressed the essence of its activity by giving it the shape of a chisel.

The newly built Hilton Hotel became known as a Hilton-Tilton when its window glass was falling off while the building swayed in the wind. However, it still was bowing to the Boston Prudential PLYWOOD Skyscraper, when its glas fell down.

When the construction of the two 110 stories high towers of the World Trade Center was announced there were concerns that so much weight put at the edge of Manhattan will tip the Island over and it will sink.

The Queen Anne decorations on the façade of the AT&T office building earned it a distinction of being the biggest armoire in the world.

The real name of the Kennedy Airport is Idlewild.

The physical laws defying upside-down monorail train's (cars moving on top of one rail instead of being suspended from it) centrifugal force on the turns at a full subway speed would throw passengers out the windows before the derailment.

The mosquitoes from the New Jersey wetlands dining in New York West Side across the river were so big that New Yorkers declared mosquito the New Jersey State Bird.

To be safe from a nuclear holocaust in 1950’s, the New York City had shelters, drills and safety rules. The Authorities assumed a 20 kiloton atom bomb exploding 750 feet above the Empire State Building. A mile away the AT&T constructed for its Telephone Long Lines a windowless building that would withstand the blast. After it happened a person, thinking to be the last on the earth, jumped out of the hundredth story window of the Empire State Building. Passing the fiftieth floor she heard a telephone ring.

Augustyniak, New York