Failure Portrait: Not Yet

An office building in midtown has a slight rusting problem… The column is still performing adequately, still carrying load. Obviously, if it continued to deteriorate that would end at some time, but since the project we’re part of includes both reinforcing the steel and waterproofing it, that unfortunate outcome will not happen. This level of …

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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 …

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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 …

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More on Classification

A old close-up during some minor work on an old house in Manhattan. We’re looking at a basement-level door that was once the secondary (tradesmen’s) entrance and now, thanks to the removal of the stoop at the other end of the facade, is the main door. The basement, being the basement, was faced in brownstone …

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