Don Friedman


Engineers designing bridges for US railroads in the late nineteenth century had a lot of work, as roughly 100,000 miles of new track were built between 1880 and 1900. If you include work performed by US engineers and builders elsewhere, the number is considerably higher. The 1889 Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, above, is an interesting case: …

Variations Read More »

Another Perspective

I keep harping on the green aspects of building repair and reuse, but it’s always good to see the same idea in a different form. “Lean design: 10 things to do now” by Natasha Watson and published by the Institution of Structural Engineers in the UK is mostly about new construction, but the first two items …

Another Perspective Read More »

The Engineering Is Simpler Than The History

This post began with the picture above, a striking 1880s railroad trestle over a ravine, just downstream of a dam. The text on the photo itself identifies as “Bridge near Encarnacion” but doesn’t say where that is and a Spanish name in the western hemisphere doesn’t narrow the field down much. The Library of Congress …

The Engineering Is Simpler Than The History Read More »

Inverted Values

That rather sober office building is the 1872 Drexel Building at the southeast corner of Wall and Broad Streets, as seen around 1905. When completed, its six stories made it one of the larger buildings on Wall Street, which was a deliberate statement by its owner and main tenant, Drexel, Morgan & Co. Having the …

Inverted Values Read More »

Scroll to Top