I've been trying to find out who leaked this story to the Minneapolis Star more than 40 years ago, but all the leads have dried up.
 
'PEOPLE COULDN’T SEE US'
 

IDS glass washers urinate to street

 
By RANDY FURST
Minneapolis Star Staff Writer
 
Men who wash the windows for the IDS tower say that it’s not unusual for them to urinate over the street below.
 
The window washers say that they think that because the urine must fall 30 or 40 stories, it dissipates before it hits the ground.
 
 
  The IDS in 1972: Tut-tut, it looks like rain.
“We usually did it when we got to an empty floor,” said one window washer who cleaned windows for several weeks. “That way people (in the building) couldn’t see us.”
 
Window washers for IDS work from a cage-like car that is lowered from the top of the building.
 
Each crew is made up of three persons. Once or twice a day each one urinates out of the car, several men said in interviews.
 
The window washers are not employed by IDS but by a firm that is contracted for by IDS.
 
A spokesman for IDS Properties said that Sanitas Services of Minnesota does the window washing. Beginning next summer, IDS will assume the window washing job itself.
 
Jerry Finkelstein, president of Sanitas Services of Minnesota, said he did not know if his employees were doing it, but that it was contrary to “what the company instructed them, what the company believes in and what the company provides them.”
 
He said that he could not say at this time what the company provides.
 
“Our reputation is on the line,” said Finkelstein. He said that any men who he found had been urinating from the platform would be reprimanded and if they were not providing the Minneapolis Star with truthful information, and The Star’s story was in error, he would sue the newspaper.
 
“I would say it’s not impossible,” says Paul Lucas, operations manager for the IDS tower, when told about the reports.
 
Lucas said the men are not under his control but if he “got wind of it” he would order the situation corrected.
 
One window washer remembers the first time he had to urinate and was told by another man to do it over the side.
 
“At first I was taken aback,” the window washer said. He said that sometimes, he’d urinate on the building, and then throw some water on it to wash it away.
 
The window washer said it would take too much time to raise their platform back to the top of the building every time someone had to go. “The bosses would lose money,” the window washer explained.
 
Another window washer said that at first the crew used a bucket to urinate in, but “they took it off for some reason.”
 
Lucas emphasized the IDS was concerned about all aspects of safety, and had established a remarkable safety record since the time the building was constructed. 
 

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