Have a wonderful Labor Day!
This photo was taken the year after the nearby Triangle Shirtwaist Factory caught fire, killing 146 garment workers and inspiring labor reforms. Many of the activists involved in the parade, and in NYC’s Progessive-Era labor movements, were women, who advocated for the end of sweatshops and child labor, and the safety of women like those that had worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
The site of the Triangle fire, the Asch Building (now Brown Building), was designated in 2003 by the Commission. To learn more about the fire and its impact on unionized labor, read our designation report: http://goo.gl/UoSCaF.
Planning an out-of-town trip this Labor Day weekend? During the golden age of air travel in the 1960s, perhaps you would have flown from the new TWA Terminal at JFK airport, one of the great masterpieces of expressionistic modern design. Leading modern architect Eero Saarinen and co-designer Kevin Roche designed a distinctive winged form built of carefully engineered concrete and glass to “interpret the sensation of flying.” The terminal was among the first planned with the satellite gates, jetways, and baggage carousels now common in airports. (Photo: Tumblr)
What is “pointing” and why would a building need to be “repointed”?
A problem anticipated in any masonry structure is the eventual deterioration of the mortar in the joints between the stones and bricks, called “pointing”. In order to retain the stones or bricks in place and to prevent water infiltration, missing mortar should be replaced, and the term for this replacement is “repointing” or “tuckpointing.”
Repointing, if not executed properly, can be disastrous to a building’s function and appearance. A bad repointing job can ruin the neat, even appearance of a masonry wall and cause poor bonding between the mortar and the masonry, which occurs when the mortar is not properly mixed, the joints are not cleaned out effectively, or an excessively hard mortar shrinks and allows water penetration. In a good repointing job, the new mortar matches the existing mortar in color, hardness, and joint profile.
If your building needs repointing, we have an instructional guide with information on the permitting process available here: http://goo.gl/otRNSh.
For decades, the Williamsburgh (with an “H”) Savings Bank was the tallest building in Brooklyn, its domed tower soaring 512 feet above the street. In 1929, the bank moved its headquarters from Broadway in Williamsburg to this site on Atlantic Avenue in Fort Greene. The skyscraper’s monumental four-faced clock was one of the largest in the world at the time of completion. (Photos: MCNY)
A very brave photographer documenting the window washers on the Empire State Building in 1936. Watch them in action: http://goo.gl/SPjowo. Warning: paneful puns ahead!
A fire escape zigzagging across a building facade is an iconic New York image. Builders had their choice of many styles, from simple and functional to ornate and intricate designs; among those choices were these three from the 1904 J.L. Mott Iron Works catalog. (NYPL)