Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Building 7 was Emptied of Tenants in Advance of 9/11

After the total loss of its headquarters in Building 7 from the surprise attack by Muslim terrorists on the World Trade Center on September 11th, the 2,500 employees of Citibank's Soloman, Smith, Barney unit who were housed there were back-filled into existing corporate offices elsewhere.

So, it was puzzling to real estate experts, as the Wall Street Journal reported, when in the weeks following the attack, Citibank sought to divest itself of a further block of 300,000 square feet of space that Soloman currently occupied downtown. How could the use of a million-and-a-half square feet of utilized office space have suddenly evaporated, they wondered?

But it is questionable if 2,500 Soloman employees were actually working in Building 7 on September 11th, as the Journal reported. Within the previous year, Soloman had merged with Travelers Insurance, and together they'd been bought out by Citibank only four months before the attacks.

Even with a possible restructuring and layoffs underway, the number of employees who reportedly were occupying the space in Building 7 is an impossibly low figure given the amount of space Soloman was said to be leasing there.

Making this determination requires some effort, as the available facts seem designed to elude us. A note in the NIST draft report released on August 21, 2008, said
Among those interviewed by the Investigation Team, there was limited recollection of the organizations occupying some of the floors, especially those occupying smaller spaces, and no one had copies of all the tenant leases.
Since even major tenants like the United States government didn't keep backups, or off-site copies of their lease agreements, and with the principals unwilling, or too traumatized, to agree on the minimal outlines of the tenancy in Building 7, we're left with a jumbled and unreconciled account instead of facts.

Two tenant's lists make up the official record. They come from the 2005 FEMA WTC Building Performance Study, and the 2008 NIST WTC Investigation Report, and they are at odds with each other. FEMA, for instance, has the Standard Chartered Bank occupying the entire 26th and 27th floors, while NIST gives those floors over to Soloman. FEMA has the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Securities Valuation Office the sole tenant on the 19th floor, while the more definitive NIST account doesn't even mention either the NAIC, or the Standard Chartered Bank. These are hardly "smaller spaces" tenancies either.

It can't be understand with precision which floors make up lease-able space. FEMA lists the top two penthouse floors as being mechanical space, while NIST has Soloman occupying at least some portion of both floors.

In contrast, a list distributed early on by the media, like this one by CNN, has far better information on the lease arrangements, including an allocation for each company's square-footage . The third-largest block-holder of space is the Standard Chartered Bank, listed as sharing two floors with Soloman, and another two floors with the Secret Service and the Securities & Exchange Commission. Subsequent newspaper articles informed us that the Standard Charter bank was actually a CIA-ran business front.

Since each floor appears to be about 45,000 square feet, we can divide Soloman's block of 1,202,900 square feet to determine that Soloman occupied 26 full floors. The other allotments add up to 750,800 square feet, which equal another 16 floors, making for a rentable building of 42 fully tenanted floors, and establishing a 4-to-7 occupancy ratio for Soloman.

The NIST account narrative starts out
Shortly before 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, about 4,000 people were at work in WTC 7. This was about half of the roughly 8,000 people who worked there. It was the first day of school for many local children, and it also was a primary election day in New York. The weather was clear and comfortable, so some had taken time to do early morning errands.
If 8,000 people worked in Building 7, it amounts to 190 workers on each of 42 tenanted floors, meaning Soloman's 26 floors would be occupied by a total of 4,952 employees---or almost twice the number who were said to be relocated after 9/11.

It doesn't matter what the intensity of use is between the various floors and companies. If Soloman's 2,500 workers were split up at only 96 workers to a floor, you'd then have to fit the remaining 5,500 of the 8,000 workers present on the morning of 9/11, into the 16 other floors, or a census of 343 employees per floor. A tight fit, even for the CIA!

The floor schematic below is from the NIST report. It depicts a hundred spacious private offices on a floor occupied by the SEC---60 of them are windowed! The football-field sized floor occupied by American Express has a warran of office cubicals, but 343 is a tight squeeze.

Building 7 Floor Schematic, NIST August 2008

Apparently, it's been done. NIST tells us
The stairwells, although somewhat narrow for the maximum possible 14,000 occupants (estimated using the formula in the NYCCBC), were more than adequate to evacuate roughly one-third of that number in the building that morning (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Chapter 7)
14,000 makes for 333 occupants per floor. But NIST can't even keep its story straight. In their public affairs office Factsheet updated September 17, 2010,
Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation, NIST proposes that an additional staircase be added to an already "more than adequate" egress

What specific code changes based on recommendations from NIST's investigation of the WTC towers have been approved for inclusion in the International Building Code?

The eight specific code changes adopted in the International Building Code based on recommendations from NIST's investigation of the WTC towers include:
1. An additional exit stairway for buildings more than 420 feet in height.
The Factsheet even contradicts itself!

Did WTC 7 conform to building and fire codes?

The team found that the design of WTC 7 in the 1980s was generally consistent with the New York City building code in effect at that time.
WTC 7's designers intended its stairwells to evacuate nearly 14,000 occupants, anticipated at the time to be the maximum occupancy of the building. Though the stairwell's capacity was overestimated, it was adequate for evacuating the building's actual maximum occupancy of 8,000, and more than adequate to evacuate the approximately 4,000 occupants who were in the building on Sept. 11.

Richard Greenshields Inc. on the 13th floor, ISO Commercial Risk Services, Disclosure Information Services

The inconsistencies in the record are so extreme as to be mind-boggling. Like this vapid and failed excuse

Why didn't the investigators look at actual steel samples from WTC 7?

Steel samples were removed from the site before the NIST investigation began. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, debris was removed rapidly from the site to aid in recovery efforts and facilitate emergency responders' efforts to work around the site. Once it was removed from the scene, the steel from WTC 7 could not be clearly identified. Unlike the pieces of steel from WTC 1 and WTC 2, which were painted red and contained distinguishing markings, WTC 7 steel did not contain such identifying characteristics.
Not so according to the October 21, 2001, New York Times, in "At Landfill, Tons of Debris, Slivers of Solace," by Dan Barry and Amy Waldman,
And so he has sought to bring order to the chaos. Along the perimeter are rows of crushed police cars and fire engines, stacked on top of one another. A separate field has been created for the remains of 7 World Trade Center, which once housed regional offices of several federal agencies, including the Secret Service. In the dirt lay a pink-and-black chunk of its marbled facade.
One might think that special attention would be paid to any pile containing CIA and Secret Service records, not to mention the Enron and WorldCom files.

The October 2, 2001, New York Times article, "Scarred Steel Holds Clues, And Remedies," quotes Dr. Astaneh-Asl, a professor of structural engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, who was part of one of eight projects "financed by the National Science Foundation to study the World Trade Center disaster. He is also a member of a team assembled by the American Society of Civil Engineers to investigate the trade center site," as he literally stumbles upon the nighttime shipments of steel being secreted out of the city.

 Look at the lack of logic, and almost tacit admission of conspiracy involving the main stream media in the following response

An emergency responder caught in the building between the 6th and 8th floors says he heard two loud booms. Isn't that evidence that there was an explosion?

In June 2009, NIST began releasing documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the International Center for 9/11 Studies for "all of the photographs and videos collected, reviewed, cited or in any other way used by NIST during its investigation of the World Trade Center building collapses." One of the items released, a video obtained from NBC News , shows World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7) in the moments before it collapsed, then cuts to the collapse already in progress, with the building's east penthouse "disappearing" from the scene (as it had already fallen in the intervening time). Other videos of the WTC 7 collapse show the penthouse falling first, followed by the rest of the building. Did NIST edit the NBC News video to remove the collapse of the penthouse?

The video footage released under the FOIA request was copied from the original video exactly as it was received from NBC News, with video documentation of the WTC 7 east penthouse collapse missing. The footage was not edited in any way by NIST.
Why didn't NIST demand the unedited sequence from NBC news themselves? We can know this evidence exists because of the sloppy editing. NIST denies reality when it denies the multiple references to gun shots and bomb blasts throughout the record

Did investigators consider the possibility that an explosion caused or contributed to the collapse of WTC 7?

Yes, this possibility was investigated carefully. NIST concluded that blast events inside the building did not occur and found no evidence supporting the existence of a blast event.
In addition, no blast sounds were heard on the audio tracks of video recordings during the collapse of WTC 7 or reported by witnesses. According to calculations by the investigation team, the smallest blast capable of failing the building's critical column would have resulted in a sound level of 130 decibels (dB) to 140 dB at a distance of at least half a mile, if unobstructed by surrounding buildings. This sound level is consistent with a gunshot blast, standing next to a jet plane engine, and more than 10 times louder than being in front of the speakers at a rock concert.
For the building to have been prepared for intentional demolition, walls and/or column enclosures and fireproofing would have to be removed and replaced without being detected. Preparing a column includes steps such as cutting sections with torches, which produces noxious and odorous fumes. Intentional demolition usually requires applying explosive charges to most, if not all, interior columns, not just one or a limited set of columns in a building.
 NIST is a mess. Listen to them whine

The account that follows is the result of an extensive, state-of-the-art reconstruction of the events that affected WTC7 and eventually led it its collapse at 5:20:52 p.m.. Numerous facts and data were obtained, then combined with validated computer modeling to produce an account that is believed to be close to what actually occurred. However, the reader should keep in mind that the building and the records kept within it were destroyed, and the remains of all the WTC buildings were disposed of before congressional action and funding was available for this Investigation to begin. As a result, there are some facts that could not be discerned, and thus there are uncertainties in this accounting. Nonetheless, NIST was able to gather sufficient evidence and documentation to conduct a full investigation upon which to reach firm findings and recommendations. The reconstruction effort for WTC7, the uncertainties, the assumptions made, and the testing of these assumptions are documented in NIST NCSTAR 1-9

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