Mechanical Systems

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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One Of The Rare Exceptions

As a coda to the issue of using the proper words to describe things – critical for engineers (as it is for pretty much all professionals of any kind) in order to keep from being misunderstood – I present: a structure that is a mechanism. The picture above shows the Grand Street Bridge in Bridgeport, …

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An Inappropriate Quote

That’s the machine room for the very old elevator in an even older building. The building is an 1880s rowhouse on the Upper West Side converted to commercial use; the elevator was, I think, installed around 1910. Note “Up” and (faded) “Down” over the two things (switches, I think) at the top of the panel. …

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Woolworth: Travel

Obviously I picked that picture above, from the beginning of Master Builders, because it’s pretty. Beyond that, in emphasizing the Woolworth’s building height, it points up a big issue for skyscrapers, then and now: how do you get people to the upper floors fast enough that they’ll be willing to rent up there? The copy …

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Transition to Ghost

I’ve put up a lot of posts here about building ghosts, the visible marks left by now-demolished buildings on their neighbors. Today’s photos, sent to me by a friend of the blog, show a specific moment in transition. The overall view above, shows the general situation for all building ghosts: the 1920s or 30s building …

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