Old Structures Engineering

A Double-Take In The Subway

Over the last couple of years, the MTA has been replacing the old frames for paper ads in subway station – basically miniature billboards – with screens that can rotate between ads, maps, and service announcements. The future is now, or some such. In any case, I was in the Bowling Green station waiting for …

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Bragging, Too

If half of our projects are restorations where our work should be invisible, what’s the other half? Alterations on old buildings, where our work is neither intended to be hidden nor showcased, but simply part of the process. The unglamorous construction photo above shows work on the Rugby Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, an …

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This weekend, I want to talk about two recently-completed projects, as they nice illustrate our practice. (There are a lot of ways to split a whole into halves, these two show one possible division.) The first is the Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park. The bandshell is one of the most heavily used and visited structures …

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Normalcy, Part 4: Training

There is one aspect of work that, it seems to me, is inherently resistant to remote work, and that is training of new employees. In our case, that usually means recent-graduate engineers. It’s important to make a distinction between orientation – teaching new employees the basics of a particular office set-up – and training. Every …

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Normalcy, Part 3: Workflow

If we’ve decided that remote work, to some degree, is here to stay, and we have various tools to enable it, how does it actually operate? I’m going to take a look at design, since that’s the most office-oriented part of our work: investigation and construction administration are much more site-oriented. As a starting point, …

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