What would happen to Oklahoma City’s landmarks like the Oklahoma state Capitol if people suddenly vanished from Earth?
The main structure of the Capitol building is bedded with cast concrete and finished on the ground floor with granite. The aboveground building and facades are faced with limestone panels cemented and bolted to a steel structure, all built from 1914 to 1917. The dome itself is made of steel-reinforced concrete and topped with a bronze statue, standing 22 feet tall.
As Oklahoma’s power grid ground slowly down and winked out upon the disappearance of humankind, the Capitol basement would be the first thing to change.
“It would fill up in the first rain,” said facility management director Michael Enneking, who explained pumps currently keep water out of the basement during Oklahoma storms, and those pumps would no longer work. “When the power would go out, they would stop. This building would probably stand for a hundred years, maybe two or three hundred years, without doing a thing to it.”
The copper roof ” only added recently ” would sprout a few leaks that would start to cause deterioration inside. But that would take decades, even longer.
“That’s a 50-year roof,” Enneking said.
Eventually, concrete seams in the limestone would crumble and wear away. Water would seep in behind the panels and cause the steel framework to swell and rust. The panels would pop out and fall to the ground. But the granite at the base, and any words etched into it, would last for millennia ” as long as 7 million years. “Ben Fenwick