Month: August 2018


“The past is a foreign country” sometimes isn’t strong enough. Sometimes, the past seems to be a foreign country occupied by very strange people. That’s not a relic of some fort, it’s a water tower for a late-1800s system that served a fair-sized chunk of Hudson County, New Jersey. The Weehawken Water Tower held 165,000 …

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Selective Naming

That’s circa 1900 Guastavino vaulting in a public building, supported by brick bearing walls with white glazed brick veneer. Guastavino has received a lot of well-deserved attention over the last twenty years or so, but there’s a phrase that I haven’t heard applied to it: structural honesty. Given that I wrote a rant against the …

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The Other Senses

I’ve been trying to always include pictures with the blog posts, even if the topic isn’t a visual one. Dealing with buildings is very much a visual process, and investigation tends to focus on what we can see. But the repetition of investigating building after building has a tendency to turn looking at buildings into …

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Low Tech and Remnants of the Past

That’s beautiful Marketfield Street, a couple of blocks from our office. The building on the right is the office building that replaced the Produce Exchange; we’re looking on the left at the rear of some mid-1800s buildings that front on Beaver Street. The alley – and let’s not pretend that Marketfield Street is anything but …

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