Kids, Don’t Try This At Home

I first learned about the growth of the Tribune Buiding on Park Row reading Thomas A. P. van Leeuwen’s book The Skyward Trend of Thought. The fact that the book’s subtitle is “The Metaphysics of the American Skyscraper” tells you that it’s a polemic rather than a more straightforward history, which is fine. A lot …

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Old School

I’ve talked around the edges of Federal Hall, but it’s worth spending a moment to discuss its most distinctive feature. And that’s not the big colonnade facing Wall Street. Despite the name, this is not the building that served briefly to house Congress when New York was the capital, it’s the 1840s building on the …

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That handsome building, which still exists, but not in that form, is the post office adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. When train travel was the main form of long-distance travel, every major railroad terminal (and quite a few minor stations) had post offices nearby, because the mail was delivered from one city to another by …

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You Have To Start Somewhere

That’s the long-demolished Stuyvesant Apartments on East 18th Street, generally accepted as the first apartment house in New York. It was built in 1870, and there were plenty of multiple dwelling already around by then, so what does “first” mean, exactly? The Stuyvesant wasn’t a residential hotel (furnished, with services), it wasn’t a boarding house …

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