11. W.E.B. Du Bois Library

Location: Amherst, MA

Year of Fail: 1974

Standing 26 stories high, this UMASS building is the tallest library in the U.S. Within two months of opening in 1974, the building began shedding brick chips—and in some accounts, full bricks—for an unknown reason. The leading urban myth attributes the shedding to a failure by the engineer to calculate the weight of the books to be housed in the library. In ’79 60,000 books were removed and a number of library floors were closed in order to reduce foot traffic. A 2.3 million dollar renovation in 1986 solved the brick problem, but another arose: the building may be slowly sinking.

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