Stanford Dig Combines Sleuthing, Classwork

Students look into why '06 quake toppled gym
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 5:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Stanford University has found a way to give archeology students valuable excavation experience without leaving campus, Bloomberg reports, and hopes to find out why an enormous gymnasium couldn't withstand the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The gym was intended as a signature building for the young school. "They thought if they built that building, it would stand for 500 years," an official said.

Earthquakes raze even sound buildings, but rumors have circulated since its construction that corners were cut to save money and time on the immensely expensive gym. The team plans to look into cement quality, and has already found a design flaw: The foundation and structure were not linked with steel, as is mandatory practice today.