Historic Structural Detail: Elegant Steel

I was on site yesterday, reviewing the conditions exposed in an 1890s building after the interior-finish demolition complete. At an upper floor, there was an opening about eight feet wide in an interior brick bearing wall; rather than have a steel lintel that spanned the full distance, there was a steel lintel supported in the …

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Without Walls

The defining feature of skyscraper is that a structural frame* carries all of the loads imposed on a building by gravity, wind, and earthquakes – usually called a skeleton frame. The phrase “curtain wall”, which long predates the construction of skyscrapers and meant simply a wall not carrying interior floors (as in a fort), was …

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Another Road Trip: Terra Cotta

I found myself recently in downtown Ann Arbor, looking at the First National Bank Building. My first reaction was “Look! A cute baby skyscraper!” (In my defense, this was the day before New Year’s and I was in a relaxed state.) The building was well designed and has been well maintained. The terra cotta skin …

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Best for NYC: Other Companies

When I’m looking for other companies in the Best for NYC Challenge to mention, I focus on companies that have inherently good missions and companies that I have had personal experience with. 67 Burger, located in Brooklyn, is in the second group. When I lived in Brooklyn, I was a regular at their Lafayette Avenue …

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Best for NYC: A Moving Target

Simple ways of measuring a the success of a small business, such as profit, don’t change. The B Impact Assessment  is inherently complex because it’s measuring more than one factor and because it’s measuring factors that are not well represented by a number or two. As a result the assessment has changed over time. Old …

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