Our Research

More information on The Structure of Skyscrapers, my history of the development of tall-building structural technology put to 1900, is at the link above. Or click on the book cover below. More information on City of Brick and Steel, our guide to the structure of buildings in New York City, is at the link above. …

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Nature Intervenes

That’s another great color photograph from the Detroit Publishing collection, taken in 1901 and showing the intersection of Liberty and West Streets, looking north. West Street faces the Hudson River, so all the buildings on the left are piers or the headhouses for piers. There’s a lot going on here, and not just the insane …

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Accurately Pictured

Nearly all of the historic photos I use here are black and white, because that’s what nearly all photos from the period I generally talk about (pre-1930) are. I recently stumbled across a collection of color photos from the Detroit Publishing Company and I really like them. Even when you’re used to black and white …

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A Relentless Grid and Two Behemoths

The army wasn’t just flying planes around Manhattan, of course. In the fall of 1939, someone in a plane took a shot of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, described in the caption as the “New York Port of Embarkation” which is an accurate name if your view of the world was army-based. The two main warehouse …

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A Minor Personal Connection

Yesterday’s photo of the 270 Park Avenue site had, for me, a bonus in the background. I’ve cropped to it above. The building in the background, with an octagonal-plan tower above a square-plan base, is 383 Madison Avenue, completed in 2001 and 47 stories tall. I have no connection to that building; rather I have …

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The Last Days Of A Giant

Skyscraper construction in Midtown is nothing new, but this is an interesting moment. The work on the left is the final stage of demolition of the superstructure of the old 270 Park Avenue; the work on the right is the beginning of the superstructure of the new 270 Park Avenue. Like a lot of building …

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