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Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 4

A lot of engineering of various types has gone into making “the beach” into what we think of today. You can’t have a mass public presence at the beach with a way for people to get there, so to use Coney Island as an example, the West End, Culver, and Brighton Railroads were built, then …

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Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 3

There’s an odd intersection of structural engineering and entertainment, and not just for amusement park rides. The picture above shows the Steel Pier in Atlantic City around 1904. It is one of the big amusement piers that are scattered around the world, usually at beach or resort towns. Piers, for the most part, are industrial …

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Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 2

When the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin hotels opened in the 1990s, there was some discussion about their decor, which departed from traditional hotel design with, among other things, a fair amount of figurative ornament and statuary. They were, however, following in a long tradition of summer-resort architecture ranging from overly ornate to bizarre. The …

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Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 1

Since the full heat of summer is now here, and we’re in the traditionally slow week heading into the July 4th holiday, I’m going to spend some time looking, with an engineering perspective of course, at some of the strangeness constructed along the beaches. Not this kind of strangeness, though: No one was going to …

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