Investigation

Multiple Possibilities

Someone’s been doing a lot of exploratory work on the rear and side facades of 120 Broadway (we’re looking at the Nassau Street/Cedar Street corner here). This building, the second Equitable Life Assurance headquarters on that site, was completed in 1915 (the previous building had burned in 1912) and has a steel frame supporting masonry …

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It Wasn’t Wrong To Them

Above, constructing a house in Boston in the lateish 1800s. The process of building the wood floors and brick walls was much the same everywhere rowhouses were constructed in the US. Circa 1999, I found myself in Houston, reviewing the effect of constructing a large new office tower on two adjacent historic buildings. The small …

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Reading The Signs

I’m pretty sure I haven’t used these photos before. If not, it was long enough ago that I’ve forgotten, so I’m guessing so has everyone else. How much can you tell about a building without setting foot inside? The key is to know something about the type of building you’re dealing with. Some of the …

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Not Really Hidden

The 1915 Equitable Building at 120 Broadway is famous for its demonstration of why zoning for bulk is needed. Its 1870 predecessor, which burned down in 1912, is less famous, mostly because of distance in time. No matter how interesting an old building in New Yok may have been, if it’s been gone for over …

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