Three! Count ’em! Three!

Probe at a loft building in Brooklyn to find the size of the floor joists above. The contractor did exactly what I asked: he cut open the ceiling. Except… The figured tin ceiling, which was the one I asked the contractor to remove, was the third ceiling in the space. If you look at the …

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Stepping Up In Size

I set the minimum size for buildings to be included in the research that led to the Structure of Skyscrapers at ten stories. There were a number of pretty good reasons for this: no building with ordinary occupancy reached that height in the US until the 1870s, it’s a height that requires elevators to be …

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A Different Take On Curtain Walls At Penn Station

I used the picture above once before to discuss the hole in front of Penn Station, which eventually became the Hotel Pennsylvania. Because the hotel was not yet built, this photo provides one of the few nearly-head-on views of the east facade of the station, on Seventh Avenue, which was its main facade. This is …

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On Top Of The Brooklyn Bridge

There’s nothing necessarily new about the topics that this photo touches on, but I had not seen this one before and it’s a spectacular shot. That is the view from the top of the Manhattan tower of the bridge, looking west across lower Manhattan. The Library of Congress lists this as between 1907 and 1915, …

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The Underwood Building As A Symbol

That cute little skyscraper is the 1912 Underwood Building st 30 Vesey Street, where it stands today with its exterior unchanged except for retail signage. (That’s the Municipal Building under construction in the background right, and St. Peter’s Church just north (from our view, left) of Underwood. There’s absolutely nothing remarkable about the building itself: …

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