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The W Austin Says Bye-Bye To More Windows...And Its Guests

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  Site Where: 200 Lavaca Street [map], Austin, TX, United States, 78701
June 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM | by | Comment (1)

For the third time in just two weeks, the W Austin shed more glass panels from its increasingly hazardous steel frame. The 36-story building, which houses both the hotel and condominiums, lost several of its window panes on two separate occasions throughout Monday and Tuesday, and now has evacuated all of its guests to a separate hotel until further notice.

Local reporters were all over the story yesterday and this morning, and we enjoyed a particularly well-angled candid photo from FOX reporter Sara Talbert (@saratalbert, see above), taken this morning—can you spot the missing three panels?

We reported on the first incident two weeks ago, which hit a little too close to home after an earlier window incident at the W Atlanta left one woman dead. Now, the hotel is covering all of its bases by blocking off surrounding streets and relocating its guests to another hotel. A statement by Beau Armstrong, CEO Stratus Properties, was released:

"The entire team here at the W couldn’t be more devastated that this has occurred, but unfortunately after consulting with numerous experts we still do not know why this has happened.

So here’s what we’re doing. We are replacing every piece of balcony glass on the building. To do this safely we are working with the City to:

1. Shut down several lanes of traffic around 3 sides of the building. This will mean some delays on Lavaca, Third and Guadalupe until the panels on those sides of the building can be removed. We apologize for any inconvenience but our first priority is public safety.

2. Close the sidewalks entirely around the building until protective pedestrian walkways are installed."

Do you have any updates or first-hand accounts to share? Do tell!

[Photo: @saratalbert]

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beware of falling glass

Sounds a lot like the John Hancock Building in Boston in the 1970's. They eventually had to replace all the window panels due to the twisting of the building in the wind.

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