A few days ago, one meme circulating the internet was the skyscraper in Spain in which they accidentally forgot to put an elevator shaft. For example, here’s the New York Daily News:
In what will surely go down in history as one the greatest architectural blunders, the town of Benidorm in Alicante, Spain, had almost completed its 47-story skyscraper when it realized it excluded plans for elevator shafts.
Except, the building actually does have elevators. The story apparently goes back to a Gizmodo article that mistranslated an article from a Spanish newspaper.
Gizmodo defends itself, claiming that the Spanish article “plainly states” that it had no elevators. I don’t read Spanish, but according to the Google translation that doesn’t seem to be true. The article mentions elevators twice. Both mentions refer to problems with the elevators, but the existence of elevator problems would seem to imply the existence of elevators.
What is particularly striking about this story is how it spread without anyone — including the journalists — checking the facts. Apparently CNN and CBS both sent TV crews to Benidorm to cover the story.
But in the absence of fact-checking, there’s always fact invention. Here’s an amusing fact from the New York Daily News:
Because of the way the building was constructed, there is no space for a shaft anywhere.
It’s amusing because it seems the Daily News made it up from whole cloth. No space for an elevator shaft? Actually it has eleven elevators.