Historic Preservation

Staving Off Entropy

It’s not often that I read a newspaper op-ed and a scholarly essay by the same authors on the same topic, but Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel had “Let’s Get Excited About Maintenance!” in the New York Times in the summer of 2017 and then “After Innovation, Turn to Maintenance” in Technology and Culture the following January. …

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An Unavoidable Failure

A small but highly visible portion of Lewes Castle collapsed suddenly on November 11. The only reason I know anything beyond what’s in the news article is the coincidence that I visited the castle with my family about three years ago. In the UK, it’s a recognized monument but not unique in its 11th-century heritage; …

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Short Topics

I need to close some old browser tabs, so here are some small discussions: The building I briefly mentioned as needing pigeon netting – the Charles F. Hurley Building containing Massachusetts state offices – may not be long for this world. The state is looking to make a deal with a developer to replace it. …

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Machine Beauty

The picture above is the Kinzua Viaduct, a bridge built by the Erie Railroad in rural Pennsylvania. It collapsed, after years of little maintenance, during a storm in 2003. Depending on your taste, it’s either an example of the power and beauty inherent in the mechine, or of the banality of mechanical reproduction. Personally, I …

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