A Fake Of A Fake

The picture above, courtesy of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, shows the Little Singer Building at 561 Broadway as it looked in 1973, when it was designated as a landmark. The building was constructed in 1903 as the Singer Building and picked up “Little” when the Singer company constructed the big tower a …

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Multiple Systems

I’m going to interrupt the defunct-airport sideshow to return to the regularly-scheduled post. The picture above shows an almost-completed repair on a facade project. If you do this kind of work, this is an almost boring picture. It shows three waterproofing systems and implies a fourth, any one of which is theoretically capable of protecting …

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Whether You Want To Or Not

Some days, the new thing I learn that day is something that is annoying to the point where I regret wasting the 30 seconds it took to learn it. Today, I learned what a “half-hip Pratt truss” and I’m going to inflict it on anyone reading this. The two most common configurations in US bridges …

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An Example of Technology Diffusion

Binghamton, New York, is one of the few decent-sized cities in the state that’s off the path of the traditional transportation spine: New York-Albany-Buffalo. That inverted L path (north from NYC to Albany, west to Buffalo) was created by nature (the Hudson River is the first leg, the Mohawk River and its valley through the …

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Small And Close To Home

When picking bridge examples to discuss here, I make an effort to look all over the US. That’s partly to get some variety to the examples and partly to offset the natural tendency for a New Yorker to be extremely parochial. There’s a line by John Updike, which I’ve used in a number of presentations, …

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