A Strange Assignment

As I was trawling through the Underhill collection at the Library of Congress, I stumbled over another building that I have a personal connection to: 95 Maiden Lane. I worked on hypothetical repairs in 1988 or 89 and I have no idea if any of them were ever performed. I was only at the building …

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Art and Artifice

The picture above, once of Irving Underhill’s more self-consciously arty photos of a building, shows the Woolworth building behind the Brooklyn Bridge in 1921. For better or worse you can’t get a view like that today because of the presence of so many other buildings over 700 feet tall in lower Manhattan. I like the …

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More Talking

I’ll be giving a book talk about The Structure of Skyscrapers at the Skyscraper Museum (virtually) next Tuesday. Details and registration at the museum website: here. I don’t like to repeat talks I’ve already given, so this time I’ll be talking about how industrialization of the building process helped lead designers to create skyscrapers.

Densely Packed

There is a whole lot of skyscraper history in that one Underhill photo above, taken in 1914 or so. We’re looking northeast from approximately Trinity Place and Rector Street, most likely from the roof or a window of the 2 Rector Street. (The roof of 2 Rector is now higher than this, but was several …

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In Between

I promised I’d discuss the other fireproof building (in 1903) on the block between 15th and 16th Streets east of Union Square and here it is: the Swannanoa. It’s an apartment house constructed in 1900 and pretty much unchanged at the exterior. Here’s the map from 1903 again, with the Swannanoa on the lower left: …

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