Masonry

Discarded

by Don Friedman on March 17, 2019


Sometimes you just don’t need the old doors any more. That’s the side facade of the Joyce Theater. We’ve got three infill areas of brick:

  1. The former ordinary door a few feet to the right of where the fancy front-facade veneer ends. The door was a step up from the sidewalk and the granite step is still there. The little extension of the infill on the right side is probably where the lockset was and the similar extension on the bottom left is probably where the lower hinge was. That of course raises the question of why the removal of the top hinge didn’t create a similar hole that had to be infilled.
  2. A small opening – probably a through-wall air-conditioner – right where the “DANGER” sign is.
  3. A bigger opening between the sign and the sprinkler connection. Notice that the brick soldier course that marks the top of the first door (and is continuous along the wall) jogs up a little at this opening. It was a bigger door, possibly used for stage loading. This one has been infilled properly: the new brick is toothed into the old brick on either side.

Some Recent History

February 14, 2019

I try not to shy away from unpleasant topics here, so I have to admit that’s me on my first facade project in 1988. What was going through my head at that moment was something along the lines of “What am I supposed to do about that?” but I did eventually figure out how to […]

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A Building Ghost Explains His Haunting

February 11, 2019

In a way, that’s the best ghost picture I’ve taken. It’s another old one, but it shows clearly how this phenomenon occurs. Here are the demonstrable facts: The building on the left is an architecturally-forgettable hotel constructed in 2001. The building on the right is a generic NY loft building constructed in 1918. Here are […]

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Three Eras Overlaid

February 8, 2019

That’s a picture of the cellar of a small commercial building in midtown, taken during a fairly extensive renovation in the 1990s. The metal framing is original, and consists of a round cast-iron column with a cast-iron base plate with vertical stiffeners (the spider-looking thing directly above the spray-painted X), a steel beam just inboard […]

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A Symphony In Brown

February 6, 2019

That image is appealing to me for its own sake, as a piece of found art, but it shows some of the difficulties in looking at old steel-frame buildings. First, the various shades of brown and tan from the steel are nearly the same as those from the terra cotta and brick. The fact that […]

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A Fake of a Fake Is Almost Real

February 5, 2019

I took that picture in 1998 for some reason I don’t remember. It’s the top of 48 White Street, the center section of a triple-wide loft building completed in 1867. It’s now part of the Tribeca East Historic District, but there are some peculiar things going on here. First, despite its use and construction date, […]

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A Minor Mystery

February 1, 2019

That’s a picture of a secondary entrance to a large ornate building constructed around 1900. The exterior door is at the left and I’m facing the thickness of the stone wall. The modern partition on the right is gypsum board on metal stud, with a stained acoustical-tile ceiling above. I’ve been staring at this photo […]

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A Sense Of Place

January 25, 2019

That’s a picture of the train shed at the Bristol Temple Meads station. It’s a very old station, and it’s been altered several times. The shed roof here and the head house off to the left are, I believe, mostly from the 1870s renovation. I took this picture as I got off a train because […]

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The Clifton Bridge, Part 3

January 24, 2019

That’s another view from the east, looking across the Avon gorge at the west tower From this angle, the tower looks a bit odd, as if it has shrunk in the wash. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.) The towers for a suspension bridge at a deep gorge are usually shorter overall than those […]

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The Clifton Bridge, Part 2

January 23, 2019

Or more like Parts 2a and 2b, since I have two short topics I want to discuss, related only by them both touching on the towers of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. First, I remembered from the 1990s that the towers of the bridge are ashlar masonry, but I did not remember what kind. The picture […]

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