Cast Iron

Prefabrication – The Past Of The Future

While I rarely have much to do with new buildings, I read various engineering and design journals, so I’m reasonably familiar with the topics of the day. For some time now, there’s been discussion of prefabrication as the future of construction. More accurately, there’s been talk of expanding the extent of prefabrication, as some has …

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A Little Bridge, Far From Home

That is the Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge near Oroville, California. It is apparently the oldest remaining suspension bridge in the American west and has travelled twice. The first time, before it was constructed, it took a very long journey; after it was decommissioned it moved a shorter distance. My thanks to Cory Rouillard for alerting …

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The Presence Of Greatness

Most mid-1800s loft buildings in New York with cast-iron facades had some kind of loading dock out front. The first floor of the building was set three or four steps higher than the main sidewalk, and an external cast-iron ledge was built there. I was sitting on just such a ledge, waiting for a meeting …

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A Moment In Time, 150 Years Later

That’s the West Main Street bridge in Clinton, New Jersey, spanning the south branch of the Raritan River. Clinton* is in western Jersey, due west of New York City and about two-thirds of the way form NYC to Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Raritan River takes a somewhat circuitous path before joining New York Bay at Perth …

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False Advertising

That’s the Park Avenue Hotel, as seen shortly after 1900. It was located on the west side of the avenue (see below regarding addresses) between 32nd and 33rd Street, and was completed in 1877 after a period of construction that was exceptionally protracted, dragged out by economic problems. (Daytonian in Manhattan gives a nice history …

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