« Barack Obama, Democrat | Main | Lenexa responders save a life »

July 30, 2008

A virtual Hyatt memorial?

There is an alternative to building a physical memorial for the Hyatt skywalk victims that wouldn’t require great expense to create or maintain. It’s a virtual memorial.

Kansas City, Mo., could host the memorial on its Web site. The site would be interactive so that visitors could click to see news clips and photos of the tragedy and interviews with witnesses and responders. Family and friends could upload their personal memories, photos and videos of the victims.

The site could be projected on the walls of museums, homes, churches, schools, libraries, universities and even the sides of buildings for more public occasions.

This virtual memorial would honor the victims individually as well as collectively. It would be more of a living memorial than one of brick and mortar could be.

Stone monuments can last, but the Internet is “forever.”

Holly Franking


T. Hanson

Thanks Marctnts,

I was unsure about the codes when the skywalk was constructed, so I was going off of what I knew was changed after the incident. Needless to say I stand by my point that even if there is no statue it does not mean the people died in vain.


"Building codes have outlawed the design flaw that allowed the skywalks to collapse and any building that had similar designs have been retrofitted."

Actually, the design error that led to the skywalk collapse didn't meet the structural design criteria in place when constructed.

Here's the short version. Originally, the catwalks were supposed to be supported by a continuous steel rod that ran through tube steel sections at each of the two skywalk levels. In order to save money, the contractor requested that the tube section be replaced with two "c-shaped" channel section welded together. The engineer approved this request. Later in the process and to simply the construction sequence, the contractor requested that the continuous steel rod be replaced with two rods, one from the structure above to the higher skywalk, and one from higher skywalk to the lower skywalk. The engineer approved this request as well.

Taken individually, neither of these changes would likely have caused the collapse. Taken together, the combination of the weaker joint at the top and bottom of the channels in combination with double the amount of forces acting on the member due to the separate rods, these changes proved fatal. Investigations after the incident determined that the engineer did not recalculate his design when the request was made. Because of this error, the Missouri license of this engineer was permanently revoked.

T. Hanson

You want to know a memorial for the Hyatt? Look at the survivors of the OKC Bombing, look at the rescuers at WTC, the survivors in California earthquakes. Heck even globally where disaster has happened a special team of building collapse first responders show up. This team is comprised of many of the first responders at the Hyatt.

They learned what void spaces are, they know how to reach and communicate to those that are under thousands of tons of debris and they have saved countless others.

Building codes have outlawed the design flaw that allowed the skywalks to collapse and any building that had similar designs have been retrofitted.

It may not be a shiny metal structure but believe me the Hyatt has not been forgot.


How about those who lost loved ones that night do what the rest of us do, make a trip to the cemetary and pay their respects.

About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright