Month: February 2016

Historic Structural Detail: Diagonal Sheathing

Every once in while, when you strip the outer sheathing (clapboard or shingles) or the inner finish (plaster) off a wall, you find that the exterior sheathing is a bunch of diagonal planks. Why? A topic that I keep returning to is that people in the past had to be clever because they had fewer …

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They Look Familiar

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has been acting recently to clear up a backlog of buildings that had been “calendared” – that is, marked as buildings that would be researched for possible landmarking designation – that had built up before 2010. Reading the list was a trip down memory lane, as we have …

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The Master of Cast Iron

When you mention cast iron, James Bogardus’s name comes up most often, but he’s not the guy I’m talking about. Bogardus greatly encouraged the use of structural cast iron in the mid-1800s and built some interesting structures, but his work output is eclipsed by that of Daniel Badger. Badger went from making door and window …

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Best for NYC: Best Practices, Talking And Not

In the process of discussing our practices for the Best for NYC Challenge I’ve talked about talking  about our work as a form of education for the public, and I’ve talked about talking about our process to keep our employees up to date. That’s a lot of talking, which raises the question: when to shut up? …

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