Mechanical Systems

Construction History: Summer In The City

I’ve used the picture above before, in discussing the Gillender Buidling, the remarkably slender skyscraper in the middle of the frame. But there’s a detail there that gives a window into the past and perhaps makes a point about the future: the window canopies. Not only are there canopies on the older low-rise office buildings, …

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Hidden But Unforgettable

“Water Mains Are Bursting All Over New York. Can They Be Fixed?” by James Barron is a good primer on a problem that resurfaces every so often. As usual, the headline is more sensational than the article, which points out that New York has the second-lowest rate of water-main breaks per mile among major US cities. …

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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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