Mechanical Systems

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 …

Woolworth: Travel Read More »

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 …

Transition to Ghost Read More »

Construction History: Summer In The City

I’ve used the picture above before, in discussing the Gillender Buidling, the remarkably slender skyscraper in the middle of the frame. But there’s a detail there that gives a window into the past and perhaps makes a point about the future: the window canopies. Not only are there canopies on the older low-rise office buildings, …

Construction History: Summer In The City Read More »

Hidden But Unforgettable

“Water Mains Are Bursting All Over New York. Can They Be Fixed?” by James Barron is a good primer on a problem that resurfaces every so often. As usual, the headline is more sensational than the article, which points out that New York has the second-lowest rate of water-main breaks per mile among major US cities. …

Hidden But Unforgettable Read More »

Scroll to Top