Touristing

Just Like I Pictured It

This is the first of a bunch of posts that will be about the recently-concluded APT conference in Detroit, both about the conference itself and about me playing tourist in Detroit, where I had not visited in a very long time. I’m going to start with a building that is simultaneously familiar and new to …

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It Happened Here

That’s the Manhattan Building, the first building in Chicago with a steel skeleton frame. On its south end we have a ghost, which is a surprisingly long story. The east side of the building, on the right, faces Plymouth Court, a narrow street that does not extend north to the Loop, Chicago’s downtown. The west …

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What Happened Here?

You’ll see similar things everywhere. This example in Chicago was near my hotel so I took a photo after walking by a few times. In short, the masonry facade at the first four floors of the building is 70 to 100 years older than the glass curtain wall above. Possibility one: the upper floor were …

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A Different Story Close Up

It’s easy to fall for hyperbole. Some old skyscrapers in Chicago may have been fore-runners of modernism, but that doesn’t mean they were unornamented in the modern fashion. The Marquette Building, above, is a good example. Yes, its overall facade design was, for 1895, forward looking, but when you get closer you get a good …

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Someplace Else

Today’s post is the first of several that are a kind of travelogue for this week’s trip to Chicago. The main reason I’m here is to give a talk about old skyscraper research – more about that tomorrow – but I had the opportunity today to walk around for a couple of hours and reacquaint …

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