Structure in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

That remarkable roof is part of the Smithfield Market in London, constructed in the 1860s. I’m reasonably sure that the green and dark blue elements are wrought iron, riveted together, the gray and red ornament is cast iron, and the light gray roof structure is wood. Whether or not the high-victorian style is to your …

Structure in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Read More »


I was in Poughkeepsie last week and that’s a picture of my train ticket. “POKIPSE” is a pretty good phonetic spelling of the name, although I would have gone with POKIPSEE. I’m curious as to why the name was shortened: “GRAND CENTRAL” is 13 characters and “POUGHKEEPSIE” is 12, so it appears that the name …

Phonetic Read More »

A Tiny Bit of Irony

There are 14 HABS/HAER surveys with the keyword “skyscraper.” Only one is in New York and it’s not a skyscraper: it’s the World Trade Center site as it existed in 2005, before rebuilding (after 9-11) began in earnest. The picture above gives a sense of the material in the survey: it’s a 2004 helicopter view …

A Tiny Bit of Irony Read More »

Book Review: Bold Ventures

Bold Ventures by Charlotte Van den Broeck is, to say the least, an odd book. The subtitle, “Thirteen Tales of Architectural Tragedy” gives a sense of the topic but not entirely. Van den Broeck, a poet most of the time, has assembled stories about buildings whose architects “either killed themselves or are rumored to have …

Book Review: Bold Ventures Read More »

Scroll to Top