Lincoln First Bank Tower

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Lincoln First Bank tower (also known as Chase Lincoln First Tower) was a building in downtown Rochester. Completed in 1973 by John Graham and Company of New York City, it was known for its exterior problems, in which large sections of the marble facade crumbled under their own weight.

The post-mortum on the event indicates that the marble had a abnormally high water retention weight, and the thickness on the slabs had been reduced during the design phase. This left very thin slabs of marble, which absorb more water (and pollutants, etc) out of the air than the nominal values in architecture reference books. Hence, they weakened, crumbled, and collapsed.

The falling panels were the source of much local derision and kept the editorial cartoonists busy for a while. The sidewalks were blocked off while they were figuring out what to do with the panels, of course. Painted sheets of plywood were used in the interim until a more permanent solution was eventually found. This solution involved replacing the crumbling marble sheets with painted aluminum, which still covers the building today.

Ya' gotta love Rochester, and its crumbling buildings! (Across Stone Street from the South Avenue garage. Coincidence?) (Actually, no. The problem on the South Ave. Garage WAS structural, involving cantilevered reinforced concrete failure. Not even remotely similar.)

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2006-05-17 21:07:30   Oh sweet. I heard the tale told to me, and it sounded like 'Lincon' (but pronounced weird).That explains it. —FarMcKon


2012-11-16 16:39:16   Since the Lincoln First Bank no longer exists, and the building WAS called Lincoln First TOWER, shouldn't that be the title of this page? —alex-c


2012-11-17 19:43:58   Xerox Tower had an exterior panel problem a few years ago as well - the expense of inspecting, repairing, and upgrading the attachments torpedoed the scheduled renovation of the building in Webster I was working in at the time. —markjackson