Photo copyright Stock Boston
Designed by I.M. Pei & Associates, the John Hancock Tower in Boston’s Back Bay is clad with reflective glass. The sixty-story John Hancock Tower was still under construction in 1972 when many of the reflective glass units began to fracture. In January 1973, a major windstorm hit downtown Boston and the systemic nature of the failure became undeniable. By April of that year, plywood replaced more than an acre of the tower’s mirror-glass window surface and “Plywood Palace” became the building’s nickname. SGH investigated the glass breakage.