Last night's crane collapse in Bellevue is the latest in the Seattle area's decades-long history of man-made structures falling down, exploding, imploding, sinking and whatnot. The causes of such destruction have been intentional (the implosion of old buildings), accidental (the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, various engineering boners), and Acts of Jesus (major storms, major earthquakes in 1949, 1965, and 2001; Mt. St. Helens in 1980).
Here's a chronological sampling of the more spectacular instances:
November 7, 1940: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses in a windstorm, as seen in the footage above.
February 13, 1979: The Hood Canal floating bridge sinks in a windstorm.
February 25, 1987: The under-construction north upper deck of Husky Stadium collapses.
November 25, 1990: The I-90 floating bridge spanning Lake Washington floods and sinks.
Sometime in 1992: The 48-foot, 13-ton Hammering Man sculpture topples over upon installation outside the Seattle Art Museum.
January 17, 1993: The Asarco Smelter smokestack Ruston, once the tallest smokestack in the world at something like 500 feet, is imploded.
March 27, 2000: The Kingdome is imploded. (I have a small chunk of its concrete rubble in my kitchen.)
January 15, 2001: The historic pergola in Pioneer Square crashes to the sidewalk after being hit by a truck driver.
I also remember in the mid-'80 when a crane fell 29 stories from the top of Century Square, but the guy in the cab only suffered scrapes and bruises. If that's not enough, this Seattle Times article's sidebar lists 11 other local crane-related accidents since 1994.
In honor of election day (you can't complain if you don't vote!), here's a photo I took in downtown Portland in 1996. After Mariner superstar Ken Griffey Jr. led his team through a thrilling playoff run in '95, Nike banked on a repeat scenario for the fall of '96. Unfortunately, the M's didn't make the playoffs and the ad campaign fizzled out. Still, it was cool seeing a 30-foot-tall rendering of my then-favorite ballplayer. ***