Cast Iron

Intentionally Far From Home

More fun with the HABS/HAER index: I went to “cast iron fronts” in the subject listing and this was the first building I found: the Brisk & Jacobson Store at 51 Dauphin Street in Mobile, Alabama. It was constructed in 1866, which was not a great year for heavy industry in the south, because of …

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Healthy Competition

There is never a single answer in structural engineering. There are multiple answers to any design problem and the trick is to find one that works, in terms of design criteria, buildability, economics, and coordination with design factors other than structure. With that in mind, I absolutely love the magazine page above. It’s page iv …

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Scale Problems Again

That’s a very big stove. To be more precise, that’s a wood replica of a stove, created by the Michigan Stove Company for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and displayed after the fair ended at the company’s headquarters in Detroit. It supposedly weighed 15 tons and, amazingly, survived until 2011 when a lightning strike …

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High-Quality Fakery

That’s a piece of the 30th Street side facade of the Wilbraham, an 1890 apartment house facing Fifth Avenue. (You can just barely make out part of the name in the fancy scrolled letters over the door.) It’s a bearing-wall building, and the north and south walls (the 30th Street facade is the south wall) …

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Most of the trusses I’ve talked about are large and carrying heavy loads. There’s nothing that says you can’t use a truss for a 20-foot span and ordinary roof loads, which leads you to the photo above, from an old loft building in Brooklyn. The truss members are mostly bars that are, within an engineering …

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