History

Stepping Up In Size

I set the minimum size for buildings to be included in the research that led to the Structure of Skyscrapers at ten stories. There were a number of pretty good reasons for this: no building with ordinary occupancy reached that height in the US until the 1870s, it’s a height that requires elevators to be …

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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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It Is, After All, An Island

The picture above, from August 16, 1908, is labelled “Race to Coney Island [life boats and swimmers, New York]”. There are two likely possibilities: one is that it is a race for both swimmers and rowboats and one group or the other or both is composed of lifeguards from Coney Island; the other, more likely, …

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A Preservation Masterclass

I probably should have put this up sooner, but here we are. On Tuesday, noon Greenwich Time, I’ll be delivering a virtual lecture – in UK-speak, a masterclass – for the Scottish Center for Conservation. The title is Conservation of “Unimportant” Buildings, and I’ll be discussing the intersection of historic preservation philosophy and ordinary buildings. …

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