Investigation

Construction History: Singer, Addendum

The first part of my discussion of the Singer Building is here: Construction History: Singer. I stumbled across the HABS photos of Singer, taken in 1967 just as its demolition was beginning, and there were a few interesting items there. First, the picture above is the building’s formal portrait, a rendering prepared by the architects …

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More on Classification

A old close-up during some minor work on an old house in Manhattan. We’re looking at a basement-level door that was once the secondary (tradesmen’s) entrance and now, thanks to the removal of the stoop at the other end of the facade, is the main door. The basement, being the basement, was faced in brownstone …

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Multi-Disciplinary

It’s not often that historic preservation work makes it into a journal like Science, but the work at Notre Dame de Paris is special. “Scientists are leading Notre Dame’s restoration—and probing mysteries laid bare by its devastating fire” by Christa Lesté-Lasserre is a thorough discussion of the conservation work going on following the April 2019 fire. …

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Failure Portrait: It Doesn’t Quite Fit

I haven’t done one of these in a while, partly because of the Covid-19 lockdown and partly because of the luck of the draw in which projects I’ve visited. I like this photo because the failure is quite subtle but also completely visible. That’s a piece of a stone-masonry facade, visible up close from a …

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