Building Disasters Throughout History – Jessica Jefferson

Hi, it’s Jessica here.  If you like me on Facebook, you may already know that I’m in the middle of building a home.  When I told my good friend Gina Conkle  (if you don’t already know her, look her up, read all her books) that I was building and not buying, she asked if I’d looked into couple’s therapy. At the time, I thought that it wasn’t necessary – I’d been waiting to build my own home for years. Surely, this would be a wonderful experience that would only bring me closer to my husband.

Fast forward 10 months later, and there I am – sobbing. Alone. In the parking lot at Costco. They keep telling me that it’s “normal.” “It’s all part of the building process,” they say.  The latest tragedy that sent me over the edge – they installed the wrong tile for the backsplash in the kitchen.  I should have known at the beginning when we discovered the plumbers were using the plans for the wrong house…

But, I’m an optimist.  I see the wine bottle half full, not half empty. Besides, even if the bottle was half empty, there’s a liquor store right next door to my temporary housing. So, even though I’m stressed, I consider myself blessed. Things could be much worse. To put it all in perspective, let’s look at some significant building issues through history.

  • 1911 – The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire happened in Manhattan, New York City. It was a huge industrial disaster that drew attention to workers’ safety at a time that there’d been blatant disregard. The fire caused almost 150 deaths, primarily women.
  • Around 27 AD- a Fidenae amphitheater built by a citizen named Atilius collapsed. The amphitheater was made of wood and the sources I referenced spoke of a death toll around 20,000. This disaster resulted in implementing a process for inspection by the government…and a banishment for Atilius.
  • 1850 – The Angers Bridge (a suspension bridge) in France collapsed during a storm.. There’d been a battalion of soldiers marching across when it collapsed which resulted in over 200 deaths. The bridge collapse was blamed on rust and further compromised by the soldiers’ marching creating an additional vibration, compromising the integrity of the structure.
  • 1973 – The Broadway Central Hotel in New York City collapsed after what could is suspected to be additions to a basement bearing wall.  This collapse resulted in the death of four, with many others injured.




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Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, nine and three year old girls, guinea pigs, and English bulldog Pete. When she's not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch "Real Housewives of [insert city here]" and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property. Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist, infused with humor. She always tries to create endearingly flawed heroes and one of a kind heroines that you'll want to continue knowing long after you read the last page. Fall in love with romance again...

8 Responses

  1. dholcomb1

    best wishes. I’ve never had a custom home built, but I do know the pains of having a new home built in a subdivision.


  2. ki pha

    Being positive is tough among all the stress but stay strong and definitely stay alert and updated. I just remembered another author who had her house built…or maybe it was being remodeled? Anyway, it turned out great after almost two years. Good luck.

  3. Karen

    You NEVER forget the misadventures. They say it’s normal bc the builders don’t care and the woman is the one that normally gets to oversee the process- gets ‘bullied’ and then is called a bxxxh when she exerts herself. The husband tries to avoid the ‘frey’ until then he cannot. That is where the couples counseling can sometimes help. 😂 Once is enough.

  4. Alyssa Alexander

    I’m so not laughing at you, but I’m laughing. I’ve never built a house, but I have cried in the parking lot of Lowe’s because I was on my third paint color for my bedroom–the first being School Bus Yellow, the second being Big Bird Yellow, and the third being Mustard Plug Yellow. The room stayed Mustard Plug Yellow for two years!

    Jessica, the house will be beautiful when it’s done, and then you can sit in your kitchen with a FULL glass (or full bottle) of wine and admire the correct backsplash! Stay strong and keep refilling that glass!

  5. ginaconkle2013

    I’ve sobbed in the parking lot at McDonald’s. I feel for you. Pretty soon you’ll have full bottles of wine and champagne to celebrate your beautiful new home.