Two Worthy Causes

That’s the brand-new statue of Maria Francesca Cabrini, AKA St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, on the Hudson River promenade of Battery Park City. Old Structures Engineering takes no position on canonization, but we applaud (a) her work in education and healthcare among the poor in New York and elsewhere and (b) the She Built NYC campaign …

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Adaptive (Doubling) Reuse

55 Wall Street is an impressive building and always has been. It was constructed, between 1836 and 1842, in the days when masonry construction had to pause for cold weather, as the Merchants Exchange. The start date gives a hint as to what happened: the old Merchants Exchange burned in the Great Fire of 1835. …

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It’s not just nineteenth-century skyscrapers that can end up looking short. The building above, the New York Telephone Building on West Street, was pretty well isolated from other tall buildings when it was completed in 1927. It is also a good example of how its architect, Ralph Walker, interpreted the 1916 zoning law to create …

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