Technology

Streetcars in New York

Another dive triggered by a tweet thread, in this case, discussion of trams (in the UK sense of the word) that was part of the month-long #transportAZ community project started by the Institution of Civil Engineers. Mike Ashworth kicked off the topic here and I responded with a picture of Boston trolley-bus. That got me …

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The Underwood Building As A Symbol

That cute little skyscraper is the 1912 Underwood Building st 30 Vesey Street, where it stands today with its exterior unchanged except for retail signage. (That’s the Municipal Building under construction in the background right, and St. Peter’s Church just north (from our view, left) of Underwood. There’s absolutely nothing remarkable about the building itself: …

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Short-Lived

That’s the Plaza Hotel, as photographed by Irving Underhill circa 1901. If you’re thinking it doesn’t look quite right, the answer is that it’s the first Plaza, and the one you’ve seen is the second. More specifically, the Plaza was constructed in the mid-1880s as an apartment house but never finished; after some banking issues …

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Necessary But Weird

There was something of a boom in the 1890s and 1900s for the construction of “fireproof storage warehouses.” They were used by any number of of people for any number of purposes, but their most important use was for document storage. In those days before computers, before microfilm, and before xeroxing, every white-collar business created …

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