The Changing Skyline of New York City

The New York Times on the architectural transformation of the city:

  • The New Shapes of New York (November 2016): Its transformation has been nothing less than astonishing over the past decade. Even when it seems as if there were nowhere left to go, the city, with its manifold appetites, could not be contained. Thanks to new concrete technologies, we have witnessed an eruption of very slender, very tall (some might say very crass) buildings. But for every heroic skyscraper, there are more than a few more humble, human-scale ventures — a salt shed, a library, a residential hyperbolic paraboloid…
  • As a New High Society Climbs in Manhattan, It’s a Race to the Top (December 2015): The New York skyline is always in flux, and not everyone has been happy about it. In the past, most of the consternation was directed at office towers. Now, though, as the city competes for verticality with Beijing, Dubai and London, residential towers are reshaping the skyline.



The Shotgun Shack & The American Foursquare

The Shotgun Shack

A “shotgun house” is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than about 12 feet (3.5 m) wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other and doors at each end of the house. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War (1861–65) through the 1920s. Alternate names include “shotgun shack”, “shotgun hut”, “shotgun cottage”, and in the case of a multihome dwelling, “shotgun apartment”. (link)

The American Foursquare

The hallmarks of the style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to use a small city lot to best advantage. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork. (link)

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Walter Reed Middle School: Architectural Elements Source List

We tend to take for granted the things we see all the time. Consider the buildings that make up our school. Coming and going, Monday through Friday, day in and day out, it would be easy to forget that Walter Reed Middle School is actually an impressive example of architecture from a time when society invested in public infrastructure with much more enthusiasm and consideration than happens today. As we approach the 80th anniversary of this school (1939-2019) it  would be wise to take a closer look at what makes Walter Reed special. In a previous post, we learned about the well known architect that designed this school; in this post, we will take a closer look at the architectural style of Walter Reed and the elements and principles that make up that style.

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