October 2017

Arching Action Index

by Don Friedman on October 31, 2017

I’ve been caught up in writing about arching action recently, and I thought it might make sense to collect all of the posts on this topic in one place. So:

If I post again on this topic, I’ll add the new links to this list.

Physically Impossible

October 31, 2017

That’s the north facade of 390 Fifth Avenue, the Gorham Building, at its east end where it meets the Fifth Avenue facade. It was built in 1906 and the avenue storefronts were modified in the late 1960s or early 70s. Where the newer glass curtain wall ends, just to the left of the truck, you’ve […]

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Expounding on a Neat Trick

October 30, 2017

I talked a bit about this type of detail recently but I was surprised to learn that I hadn’t posted these pictures. This is a middle-third of the 1800s tenement in Hell’s Kitchen that was built with retail space on the first floor. The wood joists of the floors and roof span left to right, […]

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A Great Deal

October 29, 2017

A house built by Balthazar Kreischer is up for sale. In addition to having a great nineteenth-century name, Kreischer was one of the fathers of New York’s terra cotta industry. Also, the house supposedly comes with a ghost. So for the price of a nice house, you get the house, history, and ectoplasm.

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Fire and Information

October 28, 2017

I have nothing to add to this interview other than I found it to be a fascinating read. Fire fighting isn’t just about putting out fires, it’s about learning how to prevent them and how to reduce the risks they cause. 

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Truly Superfluous

October 27, 2017

That’s a picture of the front facade of the Deauville Hotel taken at an oblique angle. It’s an attractive building, 116 years old, that has always been a hotel or a residential hotel. But what I want to talk about is the main entry. Here’s a close-up view: What is that awful growth doing on the […]

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Partially Hidden, A Neat Trick

October 26, 2017

I thought I had talked about this type of structure before, but maybe not. How do you create a storefront when it’s the 1840s or the 1860s? How do you support a masonry wall over a glass void? Affordable steel beams are decades away and wrought iron beams are untried and new technology. The answer […]

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Three Myths About Brutalism

October 25, 2017

Neave Brown, the architect of the Alexandra Road housing estate in London (above, click to enlarge) as well as other brutalist housing projects, has recently been recognized for his work. In architectural terms, this is undiluted brutalism, with nearly all exterior surfaces as bare concrete or glass. The article at the second link above summarizes […]

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Multiple Eras

October 24, 2017

The picture above nicely encapsulates an issue we deal with on a daily basis. That’s the northwest corner of Chambers Street and Broadway, taken from the west (down Chambers) looking northeast. I took that picture five years ago to use as the background for an ad we ran until last year. For the ad, we […]

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An Alarming Symptom, Maybe

October 23, 2017

Sometimes issues during an investigation aren’t clear. That picture is the entry to an abandoned church and that’s a really odd crack in the floor. I was there to do the most basic type of conditions assessment – hazard to the public or not? – and since the building was closed to use, the only […]

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