Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

Construction of the Empire State Building

In Watch on February 22, 2011 at 7:19 am

Ken Burns has a younger brother named Ric who also makes documentaries.  His film New York: A Documentary Film aired on PBS from 1999 to 2003, and includes a segment on the building of the Empire State Building:

This video is Part 1 of 3 that cover the Empire State Building. has the other two parts embedded in one easy-to-view page here.  Jason Kottke also calls out some highlights, including this one:

At the peak of construction, the workers were adding 4-5 stories a week. During one 22-day stretch, 22 new floors were erected. From start to finish, the entire building took an astonishing 13 months to build, about the same amount of time recently taken by the MTA to fix the right side of the stairs of the Christopher Street subway station entrance.

Two years ago when they were building the Ritz Tower in downtown L.A., there was a stretch where they were putting up a floor every five days.  I remember that seeming like a screaming pace.  These guys were going 4-5 per week!?

World’s top skylines

In Read, View on September 30, 2010 at 7:19 am

Here’s a list of the Top 45 Skylines of the World.  Blogger Luigi di Serio has spent time studying urban planning, and has devised a quasi-scientific method of rating the world’s skylines:

Since skylines are mostly about aesthetic appeal and very subjective, how can I judge which skylines are the best? Well, there are some rigid criteria I’ve used for this list. So here is what they are in order.

  1. VVII: Visual Vertical Impact Index
  2. Height
  3. Density
  4. Style & Organization
  5. Feats & Marvels
  6. Uniqueness
  7. Surroundings & Topography


New York at #3.

New York at #3.


Los Angeles at #34.

Los Angeles at #34.

Click through for detail on his ranking method and the full 1-45 list.

Lego wall patches

In Read, View on August 16, 2010 at 7:14 am

Wired UK has the story of a German artist who has been fixing walls with Lego patches around the world:

His “Dispatchwork” began in 2007 in the small village of Bocchignano, Italy, as part of the contemporary art festival 20 Eventi. Developing the work in situ, he became intrigued by the makeshift repairs that had been made to the crumbling walls. The approach favoured function over appearance, reminding Vormann of the haphazard Lego designs created by children.

Lego Patches

Lego Patches

Check out the artist’s website, which has photo galleries based on location:

Via:  Slashdot

Sharpie art

In Read, View on August 10, 2010 at 7:10 am

Charlie Kratzer is a lawyer who decorated the basement of his Kentucky home with a Sharpie:

Kratzer started mid-wall, with the Salon by Picasso. Then he thought, well, taking a design out to the edge of the wall wouldn’t be overwhelming.

Then the rest of the basement flared off that first wall.

Kratzer’s basement suggests that the great cultural influences wandered out of college humanities class — here a Churchill for eloquence during harsh times, a Joan Crawford for cinematic vampiness, Holmes and Poirot for great literary characterization — and set up shop together in the carefully hand-drawn markings of an educated imagination come to life.

Sharpie basement. Click for a panoramic view.

Sharpie basement. Click for a panoramic view.

Via:  Oddity Central

Living in a missile silo

In Read, View on August 4, 2010 at 7:05 am

Bruce Townsley lives in a remodeled missile silo in the middle of Texas.  The silo was built in the early 1960s and originally housed an Atlas F rocket.  After purchasing the site in 1997, he spent two years on the fixer-upper:

While Townsley had a lot of home remodeling experience in Chicago, nothing in the windy city prepared him for the demands of such a space. He has designed every detail in the room to fit its circular shape. The kitchen counter, for example, reflects the contour of the wall.

“The hardest part, says Townsley, “was learning how to drywall on a curve.”

Townsley's kitchen.  Photo by Jim Merithew/

Townsley's kitchen. Photo by Jim Merithew/

Wired has a loosely ongoing series on decommissioned missile silos and the people that call them home.  This is only the second installment, so you don’t have a lot of catch up to do.  Their first story is about Ed Peden in Kansas, and can be found here.

Most important modern architecture

In View on July 23, 2010 at 7:26 am

Vanity Fair asked architecture people to name the most important buildings created since 1980.  In 18th place here is Steven Holl’s addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri:

Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri.  Photo by Roland Halbe.

Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Roland Halbe.

Click through for hi-res photos, and to see which building came out on top.

%d bloggers like this: