Mechanical Systems

A Difference Between Structural and Systems Technology

That’s a picture I took in a church attic some time ago. The wood members in deep shadow are the purlins and plank deck of the roof, and are fairly ordinary structure for a building constructed circa 1900. The brightly-lit piece of wood is a support for the electric wiring, and the wiring is of …

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Adaptations For Use

New York Hospital has a nice long history, dating back to a royal charter before the American Revolution. In 1932, after affiliation with the Cornell University Medical School and a number of other institutions, it moved to the building in the photo above, a skyscraper with a whole bunch of low-rise wings connected at the …

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Thousands of Years of Western Architecture

The management is redoing the hallways in our apartment house. They’ve decided to hide the cable TV co-axial cables within a plastic crown molding. The installation is, as seen above, in progress. The original wood crown moldings were based on classical forms and were a way to hide the cracks that often develop in plaster-covered …

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An Unseemly But Necessary Growth

There’s no mystery as to what that big thing sticking up above the roof of this building* is: it’s the top of an elevator shaft. The windows in line with the thing are all marked “SHAFT WAY,” which is a not-so-subtle hint; the fact that this is a mid-1800s commercial building that is still in …

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Peeking Through Unsubtly

Another example of a visible piece of ordinarily hidden infrastructure. This one is as easy to spot as the bags of garbage waiting for pick-up.

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