Cast Iron

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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Standardization, Part 3

Industrial process are inherently standardized. Once you start producing anything on a large scale and with some degree of mechanization, you’re producing it repetitively and therefore in a standard form. But there’s standardization and standardization. It’s worth comparing the first two purely-industrial building materials to be used in the US: cast and wrought iron. Repetition …

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Construction History: Small Details

The picture above sent me down a rabbit hole of minor research. I could continue looking for a long time, but I suspect diminishing returns will set in soon: the building that interests me just isn’t famous enough to have left much a mark. The building on the left, the home of the Insurance Monitor …

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Construction History: Growth

That handsome building, seen above around 1876 when it was four years old, is the Bennett Building at Nassau between Ann and Fulton Streets. It’s still around, and known today for three things: it’s one of very few buildings with three full cast-iron facades, the trim on the cast iron is rather brightly colored, and …

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