The Stress of the Test*
As we've already mentioned, some things never change. The City had issued the demolition order. The City would have to rescind it.
After days of the disputes between the City and CSRTW (Committee to Save Rodia's Towers in Watts) Attorney and Goldstone, in a two week long 'City Watts Towers Demolition Hearing' no agreement was reached as to whether or not they were 'safe'.
Goldstone's 'save our skins manuever', the load test, was proposed as the only way to prove conclusively whether or not Rodia's Towers were safe.
The L.A. City engineers ultimately wanted to know just how Goldstone and his associates proposed to test Rodia's Towers. Goldstone responded with an absurd grin (the kind that always ends up meaning 'gotcha!') and an answer that threw the L.A. City engineers over the backs of their chairs.
"By pulling against the tallest Tower, the West Tower, with 10,000 pounds (four metric tons) of pressure, thereby simulating 75 mile per hour winds and/or an earthquake of major magnitude."
There were early rudiments of what we now call calculators at that time. But sliderules were the common 'hand-held' number crunchers of the time period. Neither PDAs nor whiteboards had been invented. But white chalk, black boards, Number 2 pencils with those wonderful after market add-on erasers that you stick on the back end when its original has been worn down to the metal, were plentiful. Goldstone and his colleagues teamed them up with the same scientific knowledge and technical expertise that they employed when they designed airplanes...
After some weeks of Goldstone's involvement in the project, his employer got wind of what the young engineer was up to and someone had decided that they should look into his little project. After a bit of investigation, a decision was made. Goldstone was immediately called into the office of one the head honchos.
Executive management had decided that, in order to protect corporate interests, they should distance themselves from the effort. Goldstone was informed of this decision and given two options.
"Bud. We either fire you or you take a leave of absence without pay!"
An undocumented, illiterate, construction worker, residing it what was then (and still is now) one of the poorest areas of Los Angeles, had left behind three gargantuan artistic treasures. But Goldstone's bosses not only didn't want to help him save those treasures for future generations. They didn't want to indirectly fund, directly support, or in anyway be connected with anything that Bud Goldstone was doing!
* Aircraft photos on this page were provided by USAF Colonel Mark Charles Dickerson, ret.