Not Just Wood

Engineers, and lots of other people, who have worked on single-family houses have stories about plumbers cutting out significant chunks of floor joists to run drain pipes. The picture above shows conditions uncovered in an apartment house on the Upper West Side. The green is the top of an exterior wall, the rest is the …

Not Just Wood Read More »

Survival Bias

Hunter Mansion wasn’t the only grand old house demolished when Orchard Beach was created. The Marshall House, above, was built around 1820 on Rodman’s Neck, the piece of mainland south of Hunter’s Island that forms the bulk of the beach as it exists today. The house, also known as Hawkswood, was used for a while …

Survival Bias Read More »


Ladder Company 8 of the Fire Department of New York has been in this handsome little building since 1903, but that’s not why anyone knows the building. They know it because of Ghostbusters. Putting aside the fictional use of the building for paranormal investigations, it has an interesting claim to fame: it is literally half …

Halved Read More »

Construction History: Singer, Addendum

The first part of my discussion of the Singer Building is here: Construction History: Singer. I stumbled across the HABS photos of Singer, taken in 1967 just as its demolition was beginning, and there were a few interesting items there. First, the picture above is the building’s formal portrait, a rendering prepared by the architects …

Construction History: Singer, Addendum Read More »

Construction History: Missing The Point

The Champlain Building in Chicago, built in 1894, was demolished in 1915. The picture above, which could pass for a construction photo, shows the beginning of the structural demo: the windows and interior build-out are gone, and the frame and exterior-wall removal has just started. Holabird & Roche, the architects for Champlain, took the opportunity …

Construction History: Missing The Point Read More »

Scroll to Top