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Structures Trivia

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A building in which silence is enforced, like a library or school room, is referred to as a "silentium."

A huge 52-foot-high (16-meter), fiberglass pineapple icon greets visitors outside The Big Pineapple, a huge pineapple plantation and tourist attraction at Queensland, Australia.

A man-made fountain opposite the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the world's highest geyser, at 600 feet. The geyser's is powered by three 800 hp pumps and discharges water at up to 200 feet per second. The geyser can keep 1,100 gallons of water, weighing 9,200 pounds, in the air when in operation.

A monorail subway joins the House and Senate wings of the U.S. Capitol Building with the Congressional office buildings.

About 250 million years ago, the state of New York was part of a chain of volcanic islands, with an ocean on one side and a vast inland sea on the other.

After 94 years of construction, the Mexico Cathedral was completed in 1667.

Air conditioners completely recycle the air throughout the Empire State Building about every 10 minutes.

The tallest artificial structure in the world is the KTHI-TV tower in North Dakota, at a height of 2,063 feet.

The tiniest jail in North America is in Rodney, Ontario, near the southwestern Ontario city of London. Built in 1890 and now a tourist attraction, the 24.3 square metre jail had two cells.

The top of the Empire State Building was originally intended as a mooring place for dirigibles. (Although it has never been used for that purpose.)

The total area of Denver International Airport is 53 square miles, twice the size of Manhattan Island, New York, and larger than the city boundary of Boston, Miami or San Francisco.

The Tower of London, for which construction was begun in 1078 by William the Conqueror, once housed a zoo. It also has served as an observatory, a mint, a prison, a royal palace, and (at present) the home of the Crown Jewels.

The twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, currently reign as the world's tallest buildings at 1,483 feet.

The twin towers of New York's World Trade Center contain 208 elevators. Elevators rank as the safest form of transportation, with only one fatality every 100 million miles traveled. Stairs, in comparison, are five times more dangerous.

The very peak of the Washington Monument is not stone, but a 100-ounce solid aluminum pyramid, constructed as part of the monument's lightning protection system. In the 1880s, aluminum was a rare metal, selling for $1.10 per ounce and used primarily for jewelry. The pyramid at the top of the monument was the largest piece of aluminum of its day, and was such a novelty that it was displayed at Tiffany's jewelry store before it was placed atop the structure.

The Whisky, located at 8901 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, was the West Coast's first discotheque.

The White House and its landscaped grounds in Washington, D.C., occupy 18 acres of ground.

All tours of the White House are free. Public self-guided public tours permit visitors to move from room to room at their own pace; once inside the White House, most tours take about 15 to 20 minutes. Visitors usually walk along the ground-floor corridor and look through the doors of the Vermeil room and Library, walk upstairs to the State floor, and through the East, Green, Blue, Red, and State Dining rooms and exit from the north portico lobby. A U.S. Secret Service Tour Officer is stationed in each room to answer questions.

Although the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco took 25 million man-hours to build, just eleven people were killed in accidents.

Among San Francisco's skyscrapers, the huge Russ Building was downtown's largest office tower from 1927, when it was completed, through the 1950s.

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