Friday, February 12, 2010

Haiti Palace and Cathedral - Before and After

The National Palace in Port-au-Prince used to have a second floor. It is surprising that the second floor pancaked and the first floor did not. Usually, it is the other way around due to higher load ratios on the lower floor (assuming similar construction in each). Or they all pancake due to momentum loading as higher floors impact lower floors (like the WTC). It must have had a strong first floor.

Here are three before and after photos of The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince:

I am reminded of the church at Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. When San Juan Cap was built in 1806, it was the largest church in California – actually the largest stone structure west of the Mississippi. It was destroyed by an earthquake 6 years later in 1812. There was never enough desire to rebuild it, so the ruined walls remain to this day. The famous swallows nest there.

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