Architecture

An Oddity, Probably Doomed

If you spend enough time looking at old buildings in New York (and probably elsewhere) you get used to seeing missing parts. Cornices are removed, window hoods shaved back, interesting ornament is replaced by flat brick or stucco. So my first thought when I look at the little building above, an old bank branch, is …

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A Provocative Headline And A Real Issue

The first thing that came to mind when I read “A New Idea in Architecture? No New Buildings” by Thomas de Monchaux was that writers for periodicals, whether published on paper or the web, don’t usually choose their own headlines, so Mr. de Monchaux might not be responsible for the somewhat misleading title. He is …

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Less Permanent Than It Appears

The south wing of the Museum of Natural History is one of New York’s best romanesque buildings. We have relatively little of this style, not because it wasn’t built here, but because so much of it was built downtown in the 1880s and then the buildings were replaced in the 1910s and 20s, or sometimes …

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All In Where You Look

The combination of a rectangular grid of relatively narrow streets and tall buildings produces some weird effects. For example, it’s much easier to see what’s around you from a distance than from up close. The picture above is East 33rd Street. A bunch of loft buildings of various types, right? Look up a bit… Hey! …

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