Short Topics

I need to close some old browser tabs, so here are some small discussions:

The building I briefly mentioned as needing pigeon netting – the Charles F. Hurley Building containing Massachusetts state offices – may not be long for this world. The state is looking to make a deal with a developer to replace it.

The tower portion of the Woolworth building has been converted to condos, and the entire spire top (more or less the part still in construction in the 1913 photo above) is being made into one huge and bizarre apartment. If anyone has $79,000,000 to drop on it, enjoy.

There is no distinction between our built environment and our society. They are pieces of the same whole. I highly recommend “After the Storm” by Mary Heglar.

There is one school of art that completely committed itself to machine beauty: Precisionism. The artists who are usually called Precisionists didn’t necessary limit themselves to machinery and built objects as subjects, although silos and grain elevators seem to have been favorites, but their hard-edged style was influenced by machinery. It is perfectly possible to make art about machinery in other styles: the earlier and justifiably famous “Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway” by J.M.W. Turner is a romantic view of a steam train, even as it contrasts the straight line of the track and the geometry of the engine with the softer countryside.

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