The rain of New York

I was brought up abroad (Hong Kong and Singapore) so I know I have seen a fair few storms. I remember sitting in the warm rain on our balcony as a small child, playing our own invented game ‘water machines’, like others perhaps did in the bath. But I am still compelled to post this video of … Continue reading

Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Boston Valley Terra Cotta is one of only 2 major manufacturers of architectural terra cotta remaining in the USA. Despite its more recent entry into the market, Boston Valley has proven it is a company not to be underestimated. Boston Valley Terra Cotta was established by the Krouse family in 1981 following the purchase of … Continue reading

Extreme Window Cleaning

Walking across the Loop to get to a meeting I came across these fellows: Not a bad job! Two of my favourite things… abseilling and terracotta skyscrapers. They did look quite precarious as water splashed from their buckets. Below, a small section of the pavement was cordoned off with cones while the end of their … Continue reading

Arrival in San Francisco – terracotta of the downtown Commercial District

I found myself quite sad as I first walked around the area where I’m staying in San Francisco. It was September 11th and I was trying not to think about the horrors I had woken up to in this city 10 years ago. Walking around the Union Square area you are surrounded by terracotta. But … Continue reading

Re-Crowning Chicago

I’ve had some great meetings this week so far and have come across the use of GFRC for replacement in place of terracotta a fair bit, particularly to reinstate large cornices. Mary Brush, Holabird and Root is working on repair of the exterior wall of 37 South Wabash. GFRC is being used for the first time at a … Continue reading

Travel: by train and toe

I’ve just boarded a double decker super shiny silver train to travel west of Chicago for a couple of meetings. This alone is pretty exciting. The upper deck has single rows of seating, even the luggage racks are amusing, ladder like racks hung over the galleys above the first floor layer of passengers. I of … Continue reading

Hubbard’s Roycroft Campus and the Arts & Crafts Movement

My foray into East Auroa, out of Buffalo, nearly ended with an unfortunate $70 dollar taxi ride home, or an unexpected overnight stay in the little town (or bar!) due to no returning buses! But the delights of the arts and craft movement did not dissapoint in my all to brief visit. Robb Mair, of … Continue reading

Chicago’s Cloud Scrapers Rise

I’m very happy to be in Chicago (it’s my kind of town). Architecturally I should start with the Art Institute building by Daniel Burnham with its typical Beaux Arts style so popular at this time. But as I am looking at the development of buildings technically, I would say this building is the key, the Monadnock Building by … Continue reading

Buffalo’s majestic grain elevators

Buffalo grew to become a large, affluent city due to its location as a gateway between the east and the west. The first elevators were invented in Buffalo by a merchant named Joseph Dart, to move and store grain. The steam powered elevator was put into use in 1843. At their height there were 50 … Continue reading

Concrete windows, doors and everything inbetween

I only a short time to whizz around the Mercer Museum before my bus left Doylestown, but I am glad I paid the enty to see the interior of the building. Having built his house or castle and his tile factory (explored previously) with concrete mixed by hand, by the time he came to build … Continue reading