Tuesday, 5 March 2013

North America's Great Pre-1900 Buildings

In my previous post I shined light on how North America did have a great amount of infrastructure for quite a large population by 1900. In this post I want to highlight some of the greatest buildings that we had. Some of them are still standing today and hopefully this post will lead to greater knowledge and appreciation of what we have. All of the following examples are currently standing and I've provided links to Google Maps and Wikipedia for additional information.

Philadelphia City Hall


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. View on Google Maps
Built: 1871-1901
Cost: $24 million
Size: 548 feet (167 metres) tall, walls around 22 feet (6.7 metres) thick of masonry, 700 rooms 
Notable Facts: Currently still the world's tallest stone masonry building. It was constructed between 1871-1901 at a cost of $24 million with the goal of being the world's tallest building. From 1901-1908 it was the world's tallest inhabitable building and the first secular building to hold this title since all previous buildings had been religious structures. It consists of more than 700 rooms, is the largest municipal building in the United States and one of the largest in the world. The building was considered for demolition in the 1950's but at the time the cost of demolishing the stone masonry structure would have bankrupted the city. 
More Information: Wikipedia

Philadelphia City Hall as seen c.1899. Image from the United States Library of Congress. 

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Park Row Building


Location: New York City, New York, USA.  View on Google Street View
Built: 1896-1899
Cost: $2.4 million
Size: 391 feet (119 metres) tall, 30 Floors, 15,000 square foot base (1,400m), contains 8,000 tonnes of steel
Notable Facts: It was the tallest office builidng in the world from 1899-1908 and was one of the first structures to be called a "skyscraper". Built with 950 separate offices each with a capacity for 4 people. The average work day is thought to have had 25,000 people pass through the building. It was part of what was then known as "Newpaper Row" which was the centre of the newspaper industry for 80 years since 1840.  
More Information: Wikipedia

Park Row Building as seen in 1912. Image from the United States Library of Congress.

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Potter Building


Location: New York City, New York, USA. View on Google Street View
Built: 1883-1886
Cost: ?
Size: ?
Notable Facts: It employed the most advanced fireproofing methods then available; rolled iron beams, cast-iron columns, brick exterior walls. The building's walls are 40 inches (100cm) thick at ground level. Currently converted into apartments. This building is just down the street from the Park Row Building.
More Information: Wikipedia



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Dundurn Mansion

Image from Wikipedia Commons

Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. 43.269481°N 79.884649°W
Built: Completed 1835 
Cost: $175,000
Size: 18,000 square foot (1,700 metres square), 72 rooms
Notable Facts: Built with gas lighting and running water. The mansion was built for Sir Allen McNab, 1st Baronet who was the last prime minister of the united Province of Canada (1854-1856). It has entertained famous guests including Sir John A. MacDonald and King Edward VII. The mansion's grounds also include an aviary building used for raising pigeons. The mansion has the title of "castle" which I refuse to use since I think it's a marketing tactic, I'd rather call it a "palace", a regency palace. 
More Information: Wikipedia


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Milwaukee City Hall


Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. View on Google Maps
Built: Completed 1895
Cost: ?
Size: 353 feet (108 metres) tall
Notable Facts: The tallest habitable building in the world from 1895 to 1899 when it was passed by the Park Row Building mentioned earlier in this post. It was Milwaukee's tallest building until the First Wisconsin Centre was built in 1973. Taller than Big Ben (now called Elizabeth Tower) in London, England by 38 feet.
More Information: Wikipedia



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Saint Patrick's Cathedral


Location: New York City, New York, USA. View on Google Maps 
Built: 1858-1878
Cost: ?
Size: Spires 330 feet above street level, at transepts 332 feet long and 174 feet wide, can accommodate 2,200 people. 
Notable Facts: Takes up an entire New York City block between 50th and 51st street and Madison and Fifth Avenue. The chancel organ has 3,920 pipes and the grand gallery organ has 5,918 pipes, together 9,838 pipes. Listed as one of the tallest churches in the world.
More Information: Wikipedia


View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

View the interior on Google Maps

Ellicott Square Building


Location: Buffalo, New York, USA. View on Google Maps
Built: Completed 1896, construction lasted less than 1 year.
Cost: $3.5 Million 
Size: 10 stories, 447,000 square feet (41,500 square metres), 
Notable Facts: At the time of its completion it was the largest office building in the world. Held the title of the largest office building in the world by floor area until 1908 when the Hudson Terminal was opened. Has a marble mosaic floored courtyard imported from Italy in 23 million pieces. 
More Information: Wikipedia


For links to all of my related writings you can visit my Population Data and Architecture Articles page.

I've also curated a number of Pinterest boards over the past year of historic architecture in Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, and the United States that would interest you if you enjoyed this post:


Billy

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