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$ 3 billion construction scam How the world's smallest skyscraper was built

In 1912, an extremely sophisticated construction scam was carried out by J. McMahon. The most amazing thing is that officially he did not deceive anyone. At the same time, investors invested $ 200,000 in the enterprise (this is about $ 2.7 billion today), but did not receive the promised result.

Another American adventure began with the discovery of oil somewhere. This time she was found in the town of Wichita Falls, Texas. Investors and workers immediately flocked to the district.

I don’t want to use the hackneyed stamp “money flowed like a river”, but it was really so. But the oil magnates had nowhere to live and build their own business.

The enterprising engineer J. McMahon offered investors to build a skyscraper where offices and more will be located. It was supposed to be a high-rise building of 480 feet (approximately 146 meters).

The tallest building in the world at that time was the MetLife Tower, 213 meters high (50 floors).
In 1912, the MetLife Tower (right) was the tallest skyscraper in the world.

J. McMahon asked for a relatively small amount for his services - $ 200,000. The investors agreed, signed all the necessary documents and raised the money. Construction began.

The locals were patient and began to wait for the tallest skyscraper in the world to appear in their town, which would make Wichita Falls famous throughout the world. Unfortunately, a 150-meter building never appeared here. Nevertheless, the city went down in history thanks to its “undersized”.

During the year, a 4-storey building was rebuilt, approximately 12 meters high. There were a lot of rumors and speculations around. Some said that this was just a technical room or an extension. Others were worried that such a "foundation" would not be able to build a reliable high-rise.

This is how the skyscraper ended up.

However, no one planned to continue construction work. McMahon announced the completion of construction. Everyone around was at a loss. Investors have filed a lawsuit against the contractor. But they failed to defend their rights.

It turned out that the enterprising engineer indicated the height in the contracts not in feet, but in inches. In all documents, the building was 480 inches (approximately 12 meters) high. When agreeing on and signing the papers, no one paid attention to this trifle. This is how “the world's smallest skyscraper” appeared in the city.

Several times they wanted to demolish the under-scrap, but the locals defended it. It is now a world landmark. The status of the tallest building in the world is constantly changing from one skyscraper to another, and there is only one smallest skyscraper in the world.

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