New York

The Tail End

by Don Friedman on March 17, 2018

That five-foot high pile of snow is not from this week’s storm with its negligible build up of snow, it’s from two storms ago. The plows were so efficient at piling up the snow that the pile’s core has stayed frozen through day after day of greater than freezing tempratures. I expect it will be gone by May.

Not Just The Boy Scouts

March 16, 2018

Part of the operations management of a city is preparing for crises that never come. Tuesday’s snow storm was, as is visible in this picture, underwhelming. But that’s a salt-spreader truck with a plow, parked almost in front of the Skyscraper Museum, waiting for the call that didn’t happen.

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Sources And Discussion

March 16, 2018

Some of our blog posts are obviously self-referential, discussing what’s going on with our office or what we’re working on. Some are based on current discussion elsewhere. And some are me trawling through a few favorite sources for photos that show some point that I think is important at the moment. There are plenty of […]

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Breathless Reporting

March 14, 2018

A weakness of mine is expecting reporting about buildings and related issues to make sense. It seems like it should, in that physical objects are easier to describe than ideas, but that distinction is an over-simplification. There’s no way to discuss buildings without discussing intangible concepts, and that’s where inaccuracies are likely to arise. This […]

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The Box Versus The Contents

March 13, 2018

This article at the New York Review of Books is both a celebration of the people who have made the old St. Denis Hotel their professional home and a depressing discussion of commercial gentrification. The building is being emptied of tenants prior to redevelopment, for the second time. Its first big change was just about […]

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Chalets In Mid-Air

March 9, 2018

One more time, an example of architectural templates. In this case, the building type is just about gone: the headhouses of elevated train stations. A typical elevated station – like the ones on the demolished Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Avenue Elevateds, the above-ground portions of the subway system, or similar systems elsewhere, like the […]

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Architectural Templates

March 7, 2018

If you need proof of how much the world has changed, there was apparently once enough of a demand that someone produced a postcard of a high school on Staten Island. In any case, Curtis High was built by the New York Board of Education at the time when C.B.J. Snyder was in charge of […]

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We May Have Snow Tomorrow

March 6, 2018

New York has a history of late-winter/early-spring snowstorms. Recent years have included storms on March 1, 2009, March 5, 2015, March 16, 2007,¬†April 1, 1997, and April 7, 2003. Compared to the size of late-winter storms in the mountain west, upper midwest, and New England, the snow totals of our spring storms aren’t that big, […]

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The Address Is The Same

March 4, 2018

In the spirit of yesterday’s post, the low-rise, early 1800s buildings on the far left are the location of our office, some 25 years before it was built.

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Not Enough Water

March 2, 2018

That’s the Bronx River where it passes through the grounds of the New York Botanical Gardens. For people unfamiliar with the area, that picture is probably surprisingly bucolic. The lower reaches of the Bronx River, where it runs into the East River, are quite industrial. The river as a whole is not, and obviously was […]

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