History

Homage And Disappearance

A lot of people who have never been to New York have heard the name “Five Points.” The neighborhood’s fame faded in the second half of the twentieth century, as bigger and more unsettling slums became famous, but the commercial success of the movie The Gangs of New York – a fictional drama based on …

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A Bridge Seen Out Of Context

That beauty is the Fort Point Channel bridge for the New Haven Railroad, part of the final approach to Boston’s South Station when built in 1898, and still serving in that capacity today. Fort Point Channel separates the center of Boston from South Boston, and the trains on this line are now all commuter trains …

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A Role That’s Ended

Another HAER survey tagged “engineering,” and this time it’s one that we have a connection to. The picture above shows the ferry sheds and main terminal building of the Central Railroad of New Jersey in Jersey City, as seen from the Hudson River. The Central was a small and ultimately futile railroad with two main …

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A Supporting Role On A Very Big Stage

Continuing with items tagged as “engineering” from the HABS/HAER/HALS collection, that’s “Mobile Launcher One” from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Saturn V rockets were assembled on the platform on the left, and held steady and accessed from the tower on the right. Assembly took place indoors and then the whole thing slowly moved out …

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A Supporting Role

Monday’s discussion of the role of engineering got me wondering how the topic was defined at one of my main sources of photos, the HABS/HAER/HALS collection at the Library of Congress. (That is: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey.) The index helpfully tells us that the online collection (still only a …

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