In multi-level buildings, the 13th floor is a marker that is often eliminated in cultures where the number 13 is seen negatively. Even non-superstitious building owners are aware that apartments on the 13th floor may be less attractive due to superstitious tenants or commercial tenants who fear losing superstitious customers. o the 13th level’s reputation as a bad place? The 13th level appears to be the focus of a lot of stories, some documented and others not.
It has been said that the 13th floor of government buildings contains top-secret government offices or, more generally, that it is a sign that something sinister or hidden is occurring in these structures.
The Meaning of the Number 13 in History
If you read history books, you would discover a multitude of explanations for why different societies have seen the number 13 as a terrible omen or, worse, a sign of trouble to come.
The most well-known superstition about the number 13 has Biblical origins. Judas, who was regarded as the 13th disciple, betrayed Jesus after the Last Supper. Furthermore, the arrival of the “Great Beast” and the anti-Christ is discussed in the thirteenth chapter of the book of Revelation.
Along with its association with religion, the number 13 was extensively included in another literary feast as a representation of bad luck and death. According to Norse mythology, Baldur, the god of all-natural beauty, was to receive guests at a feast.
oki was the only god who was not invited to the dinner and was upset about it. Loki devised a cunning plan as retaliation that resulted in Baldur’s death during the feast. The myth has also added to the number’s negative reputation because Loki was the thirteenth visitor.
Lastly, the number 13 has also raised questions in the field of architecture. During the early 1900s, when New York was just beginning to construct skyscrapers, architects were hesitant to design structures with thirteen or more floors.
They claimed that the buildings’ height would result in “permanent shadows” being cast on the streets and a decline in property values. They were mistaken since New York now possesses some of the most expensive real estate in the whole world.
The Number 13 and Science
The idea that 13 is particularly unlucky has grown so established in the human mind that it is now considered to be a phobia. Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of the number 13 that is unjustified. The fear of the number 13 affects people with triskaidekaphobia far more than it does ordinary people, who typically associate it with superstition.
An estimated $800 to $900 million in sales is lost on Friday the 13th as a result of people being afraid to fly or conduct business. Some people even go so far as to completely avoid the number 13, such as by never watching the TV channel 13 or staying in any hotel room that has the number 13.
How to Avoid Superstition
How do property owners get around that if developers won’t mark the 13th level as, well, the 13th floor?
Listed below are a few inventive strategies to avoid the unwanted label:
- Skipped – The simplest approach to avoid having 13 on the floor numbering is to just skip it completely. This explains why elevator panels go directly from 12 to 14.
Adding letters – Occasionally, you’ll notice that there are extra letters added after the official 12th floor. This will appear on the elevator panel as 12, 12A, and 14.
The letter M – Some elevators utilize “M” on the panel rather than the number 13 because it is the 13th letter in the alphabet. A floor may even be constructed around the letter “M” in some hotels, with the floor being designated as a mezzanine level.
Special floors – Hotels may designate the 13th level as a special floor with amenities like a ballroom or swimming pool.
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Property owners and Number 13
Now that you are aware of the factors contributing to number 13’s bad reputation, why does this matter in the world of real estate?
It’s all about the money, is the easy solution.
Property owners and developers chose to err on the side of caution and avoided utilizing the number 13 as much as they could because there was a general apprehension about it. It was far simpler to just number floors and rooms from 1 to 14, rather than risk turning away potential tenants.
Famous US buildings lacking the 13th floor
Are there any well-known US buildings that still don’t have the 13th floor? Yes! Here are a few examples:
The 13th floor of the Hotel Burnham in Chicago is still used as a residence, but the hotel has omitted it from its floor plans.
The 13th floor of Trump Tower in Chicago is classified as a mezzanine level.
The Essex House in New York City omits the number 13 as well.
The Sherry-Netherland (NYC) – Due to superstitious visitors, this hotel does not have a 13th floor and even avoids using the number 13 in the room numbers.