Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse
Original design vs Actual fabrication
STRUCTURE Magazine August 2016
Wiki Excerpt #1
Wiki Excerpt #2
The American Society of Civil Engineers adopted a clear policy—which carries weight in court—that structural engineers are now ultimately responsible for reviewing shop drawings by fabricators. Trade groups such as the ASCE issued investigations, improved standards of peer review, sponsored seminars and created trade manuals for the improvement of professional standards and public confidence. The Kansas City Codes Administration became its own department, doubling its staff and dedicating a single engineer comprehensively to all aspects of each reviewed building. Kansas City politics and government were colored for years with investigations against corruption. In 1983, the disaster was cited in the argument against the Reagan administration’s attempt to eliminate an agency of the National Bureau of Standards.
Jack D. Gillum (1928–2012), the owner of the engineering company and an engineer of record for the Hyatt project, occasionally lectured at engineering conferences for years after the tragedy. Claiming full responsibility and disturbed by his memories “365 days a year”, he said he wanted “to scare the daylights out of them” in the hope of preventing future mistakes.
Convicted of gross negligence, misconduct, and unprofessional conduct, the engineering company lost its national affiliation and all engineering licenses in four states, but was acquitted of criminal charges. Company owner and engineer of record Jack D. Gillum eventually claimed full responsibility for the collapse and its obvious but unchecked design flaws, and he became an engineering disaster lecturer.