Not Just Wood

Engineers, and lots of other people, who have worked on single-family houses have stories about plumbers cutting out significant chunks of floor joists to run drain pipes. The picture above shows conditions uncovered in an apartment house on the Upper West Side. The green is the top of an exterior wall, the rest is the …

Not Just Wood Read More »

An Unexpected “Un-“

This post was triggered by a spot-on question from Julia Manglitz about my comments on the fourth Rocky River Bridge. The main structure of that bridge consists of unreinforced concrete arches, and Julia asked “I’m curious about any thoughts you have on the relative durability of reinforced versus non? It seems as though reinforcement corrosion …

An Unexpected “Un-“ Read More »

Generational Change

That’s the Rocky River Bridge on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio. Lakewood is a western suburb of Cleveland and Detroit Avenue was originally the Detroit Road, running west from Cleveland to Michigan. Actually, that’s two of the Rocky River Bridges: the unreinforced-concrete arch bridge in front is the 1910 bridge, the fourth on or near …

Generational Change Read More »

Construction History: Psychology

People’s emotional reaction to pretty much anything may not be rational. For example, there is a widespread hatred of brutalism that seems to be connected more to the use of exposed rough concrete than to the architectural forms. And the aesthetics of the appearance of concrete are purely subjective. “Rough, cold and politically charged: why …

Construction History: Psychology Read More »

Construction History: Psychedelia

I generally try to only write about real structures. I made an exception for the Buffington patent because it has played a part in the written history of skyscrapers. Today’s structure doesn’t require an exception, as I’ve seen one built example of it, but it was exceedingly rare when built and is rarer today. In …

Construction History: Psychedelia Read More »

Scroll to Top