Blog

Halfway There

by Don Friedman on September 23, 2017


I have finally found the perfect apartment. Now I just need $110,000,000.

Architectural Nostalgia

September 22, 2017

  Michael alerted me to the existence of 80s.NYC, a website that gives street views of buildings as photographed by the city government some 35 years ago. It’s fantastic if you want a sense of what the city was like then and how different it is from today. I am a bit disappointed that the […]

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Better Than The Alternative, If You Squint

September 21, 2017

Richard and Anne Dickey, a wealthy couple of the era, had a house constructed for them in 1809-1810 on then-fashionable Greenwich Street. This was before rowhouses were being built in New York and long before the craze among the wealthy for ridiculously large mansions. Their house was about 40 feet by 60 feet and there […]

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Failure In An Expected Pattern

September 20, 2017

The animated picture above is from The General, a 1926 Buster Keaton movie. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.) In the era before computer graphics, and when the use of scale models for special effects led to disappointing results, Keaton got a realistic train crash in the obvious manner: he crashed a train and […]

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Historic New Structural Detail

September 19, 2017

Even though construction is still in progress – note the blue tarps and the chain fall – that is a beautiful sight that very few people will ever see. That is the inside of a newly-constructed onion dome. The old dome and cupola, which formed the steeple of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Elizabeth, […]

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A New Form of Sidewalk Bridge

September 18, 2017

First, some terminology: the platforms that move up and down on cables are hanging scaffold (AKA swing-stages); the tall temporary constructions of pipe and metal frames that allow access to a facade are standing scaffold (AKA pipe scaffold); the sheds that protect people on the sidewalk from falling tools and debris are sidewalk bridges (AKA […]

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An Inevitable Move Into A New Market

September 17, 2017

I did not know that LEGO was working on full-sized construction. Click on the picture above to enlarge it.

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Visual Similarity

September 16, 2017

AttributionĀ IssamBarhoumi: Two of my posts in the last week have had visually similar images, containing the Escheresque effect of looking at a grid of vertical elements in perspective. I must have seen some pictures of the Grand Mosque at Testour, pictured above, or a similar building when I was a kid, because I remember desperately […]

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Cartesian Boxes

September 15, 2017

One of the oddities of researching early skyscrapers is trying to account for the occupancies. Why would someone build a high-rise* factory in the 1890s? Why would someone build a high-rise tenement? One of the oddest of the oddities is the way that insurance companies dominate the early skyscraper office buildings. New York Life, Metropolitan […]

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A Site With Useful Information And An Unfortunate Name

September 14, 2017

Preservation engineering (or conservation engineering outside of North America) is relatively new and suffers from a number of problems common to newish subfields. The biggest problem, from my perspective anyway, is a lack of basic common information. If I want to explain to clients energy-code issues with glass curtain walls, there are any number of […]

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