Not Just Plumbers

It’s a long-standing bit of wisdom among designers that plumbers will cut anything that is in their way when installing pipe. Give a plumber a saw, and structural engineers expect him to cut through the nearest piece of structure. I need to correct one mis-perception: it’s not just plumbers. (And, of course, it’s not all …

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Lost Detail

That’s an ex-laundromat in the Bronx, probably a victim of the Covid recession, although who knows. The storefront manages to be aggressively plain and modern at the same time; the metal framework at the top used to have a cloth or vinyl sign that served as a very shallow canopy. The brick above the storefront, …

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A Little Land, A Lot of Building

Again, some convoluted history with multiple buildings on the same site. The picture above, taken while I was standing on the west sidewalk of Broadway looking east, shows the triangular vacant lot at the intersection of Park Row and Ann Street, just barely north of where Park Row hits Broadway on an angle. The big …

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History of a Scar

This is Queens Plaza, a traffic nightmare where two of the largest streets in the borough (Queens Boulevard and Northern Boulevard) merge to form the approach to the 59th Street/Queensboro Bridge. On top of that traffic is an elevated station for the 7 and N subway lines; below it is a subway station for the …

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It Wasn’t A Ghost To Them.

More or less a typical building ghost, on West 96th Street, but worth looking at in the context of this week’s discussion of the differences in perception between engineers today and in the past. The five-story height of the ghost suggests it was a small apartment house rather than a rowhouse. If you look at …

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