Penn Station, Take 3

The original Pennsylvania Station opened in 1910 to serve the Pennsylvania and Long Island Railroads; the later construction of the New York Connecting Railroad allowed the New Haven Railroad to enter as well. The Pennsy, as the largest and wealthiest railroad in the US, built a palace as its New York station. By the 1950s, …

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Five, Maybe Six High Bridges At Appomattox

The Appomattox River is a rather twisty tributary of the James River in Virginia. Its name is well known in the US because it was the location of the end of the Civil War, but otherwise the river and its valley are a barrier to north-south movement. The picture above sort-of shows the High Bridge …

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A Less Substantial Than Usual Ghost

Most of the building ghosts I’ve photographed are the results of party walls being swallowed by newer construction. Some are the result of modern construction being placed awkwardly next to an old wall. This one is neither: an old building was constructed next to an older building, leaving only faint traces when the older building …

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The Sawmill In The City

New York is known as a city of masonry and metals with its ubiquitous visible bricks, stones, decorative terra cotta, cast iron facades, and sheet metal cornices, which is why Old Structures Engineering has titled its guide to the structure of New York buildings City of Brick and Steel. Peering inside this book, just like peering inside …

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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 …

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