The 58-story Millennium Tower, rated one of the top 10 residential buildings in the world by Worth magazine, is sinking. The building, in which late venture capitalist Tom Perkins owned a penthouse and also home to football legend Joe Montana and leading Silicon Valley investors, has sunk 16 inches and tilted 2 inches to the northwest, consultants tell the San Francisco Chronicle.
The sinking is likely due to a huge hole dug out for the nearby construction of a new transit facility, according to a consulting report, which noted that the high rise has already sunk 10 inches deeper than what was expected for the life of the building. To top it off, the settling has been "uneven," resulting in the 2-inch tilt. By comparison (and to the likely relief of residents), the tilt is not nearly as bad as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the top of which is displaced more than 12 feet from the center.
Still, the sinking and tilting are worrying local engineering experts. "That's significant … and of concern," Professor Greg Deierlein, director of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford University, tells the Chronicle. MB