A Good Lesson

A drawing in sharpie on the scaffold plank, explaining the problem with removing the balustrade sitting on top of a counterweighted masonry cornice. It’s likely that the mason or rigger who drew that never took a physics class; it’s also likely that they understand statics better than many people who have.

Gas Pressure

That odd round building in the photo above was the first time I encountered a structure that was a designed mix of wrought-iron and masonry. It’s the Gasholder House in Troy, New York. I was introduced to it when I was a student, not in an engineering class, but by a history professor, Tom Carroll. …

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An Old Trade-Off Is Still Current

The picture above is the 1914 Adams Express Building at 61 Broadway. The two biggest buildings below are Singer, on the left, and the 1907 City Investing Building on the right. These two buildings are used as examples in the article below, “Heat Losses From Buildings Of Modern Type,” which I’m putting up here in …

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Internet Discussion: Oriel Chambers

I got sucked into a discussion about Oriel Chambers (photo above by Matěj Baťha), an 1864 office building in Liverpool with very open facades, starting here: First, obviously, Oriel Chambers is a fantastic building. Nothing I say here should be construed to mean that I think anything else. The word “skyscraper” is quite subjective, and …

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