History

Tempus Fugit Slowly

The New York General Post Office used to be located at the south end of City Hall Park, when most of the business district of the city was south of there. Around 1900, when Penn Station was planned as the first direct rail connection between Manhattan and the west, plans were made to move the …

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Oddly Real, But Exaggerated

The picture above is a long-abandoned flagpole mount on the roof of a 1905 building. The current roofing was installed in the 1970s and the portion of the mount that was at the roof surface was either removed then or was already gone. When I looked at it, I started thinking about how many building …

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Shuttle, Yo-yo, Leftover

There are a lot of strange dead ends on the New York subway system. Some are places where expansions were planned and never happened, some are where the expansions took place differently than planned, some are where old passages were closed off. A few are active, and daily use tends to mask their strangeness. The …

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Large

It’s one thing to say that the George Washington Bridge carries the most vehicles of any bridge in the world, but it’s another to actually look at what that means. It’s a big bridge – the longest main span in the world for a few years until the Golden Gate Bridge was completed, and with …

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Trace Evidence

That photo is from an early-1800s house upstate. There’s nothing exceptional about its structure, although architecturally and historically it’s interesting. But there are traces of the past in building materials, and it’s fun, and sometimes instructive, to take a look at them. Here’s a marked-up version of the photo for reference: The most obvious trace …

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