Part of First Apartment Building in U.S. Falls

From Associated Press

A section of the historic Pontalba Apartments, said to be the first apartments built in the United States, collapsed Wednesday into Jackson Square in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter.

No one was hurt, but the collapse caused inestimable damage to one of the nation's most prestigious buildings, officials said. The three-story building where the collapse occurred was completed in 1851 and, with a companion building on the opposite side of Jackson Square, was undergoing a $10-million renovation.

Scaffolding on the Jackson Square side of the building collapsed about 5:30 p.m., witnesses said. When the scaffolding fell, it brought down an undetermined amount of the building.

It was the second spectacular Jackson Square accident within the past 16 months.

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