That "After Man" Series-Incorrect?

I flipped this on (out of boredom) and watched a bit of it. Idon’t buy the claims made in this show-they say that the Manhattan skyscrapers would start falling down, about 350 years after man vanished. This doen’t make sense to me-the cathedrals of Europe are standing after 1000 years, and the Roman Coliseum (2000 years) looks just fine (if a bit weather worn).
I think buildings like the Empire State Building could last for thousands of years-what do the experts here say?

You forget that the buildings you mentioned have had humans actively working at repairing them for much/all of that time. Google around for photos of abandoned modern buildings (notables include photoshoots done in Detroit) to see how quickly decay can set in.

I’m currently reading Alan Weisman’s The World After Us, the book on which I believe the miniseries was based. In it he explains why skyscrapers would fall relatively quickly while stone buildings will last longer. Basically, if people weren’t around to maintain buildings, water would get them all sooner or later - and in areas that get cold enough for water to freeze, the process will be sped up. Because of the way they are built, skyscrapers are more vulnerable to water and particularly ice damage than a stone cathedral. But the cathedral will come down in time, too.

The Colosseum is a special case, since its damage isn’t all from the weather - people have “mined” it for its marble almost since the Roman Empire went foom.

The in The World After Us, he says that Manhattan buildings in particular won’t last very long because the cellars under Manhattan have to be continuously pumped out or they will fill with water. Once water starts to undermine the foundations the buildings won’t last very long.

One of the things that I did not like or believe about *The World After Us *was his apparent belief that domestic animals would not do too well. I expect that the North American continent would be dominated by huge herds of bovines for centuries, predated mainly by packs of wild dogs.

There was more than one “After Man” show and one of them showed what would happen to Detroit in the years after man vanished. I was thinking to myself as I watched that parts of Detroit already look like that. Then I realized that a lot of it wasn’t a simulation. They filmed around an old Packard plant that’s been abandoned for 40 years and it’s already being overtaken by the elements.

They also showed an abandoned school that’s got plant life growing all over the place in the dust from fallen plaster. Once the windows break, the plaster absorbs moisture and starts to crumble and the plaster dust is perfect for seeds to take root in. Once the roots start getting between cracks in the boards and bricks, the major damage sets in. It can happen in a few years.

There’s a road in Volcanoes National Park on the big island of Hawaii that was abandoned in the late '90s after volcanic activity made it nigh-impassible anyway. The road is still there and you can bike down parts of it and clearly see the paint marks, but the forest is quickly taking it over - you certainly couldn’t drive down it anymore (even if part of it wasn’t disintegrated or tilted by the volcano).

Steel corrodes. Stone doesn’t.