Faded outlines of phantom Manhattan buildings

That’s the latest item at Ephemeral New York, one of my favorite web sites. I’m puzzled about the second picture, which shows colorful traces of a former building. My ill worded comment is: “In the second picture, the beam holes (whatever the term is) correspond to the floors in the building which is still standing. Would the purple paint have been the interior wall of the gone building? If the beam holes of the gone building were in a wall that was torn down, how could the purple have been an interior wall?” I guess it’s obvious I know nothing about architecture. Thanks for any help!:slight_smile:

The second picture is one I know about, actually.

A crane collapsedjust off 2nd Avenue and damaged a 15-some-odd story apartment building containing a Rite-Aid pharmacy, and completely destroyed a much smaller 4-story residential building also containing a neighborhood bar called Fubar, spanned the next street (50th) and damaged some brownstone-sized houses on the other side.

google map street view
Slide show. All the pictures of the destroyed building are taken from the opposite angle so the surface shown is opposite of the side with the beam holes (although you can see that side clearly in the street view above).

Is it possible that the “beam holes” are actually ties inserted in the wall to support it after the neighbouring building was demolished? I’m sure I’ve seen similar things in London when an internal party wall becomes an exterior wall due to demolition.

It doesn’t look to me as though the “beams” do correspond to the floors in the surviving building. It’s a bit hard to tell from the perspective but they appear to be level with the tops of the windows, which seems a bit low.

To late to edit: here it is on Google Street View. They look like metal ties, protruding through plates on the exterior of the wall to me. The plaster on what was the interior walls has been cut away, maybe to get back to a solid surface to anchor the plates? (Although from the original pic they didn’t cut it away in the middle left white section, perhaps because the plaster looks in better condition there.)

Edit (again) - oops, I missed that AHunter3 had already tracked down the Street View.
Also: similar pics from Spain. I love the urinals!

Agreed - those square features can’t be the ends of originally-through beams, or they would have intersected room space (for example, the peach coloured section , which was a flight of stairs). In fact, zooming in, they’re clearly square plates with a piece of threaded studding bolted through them.

So they’re reinforcing ties - presumably, because this wall was not originally intended to be an external one.

I think you guys are right- I didn’t consider the two buildings having a common wall. :smack:

I believe I took my college class to see the South Street seaport building this April–it’s the one that Joe Mitchell explored in the title essay of DOWN IN THE OLD HOTEL.

As others said, those are tension ties that are supporting the wall from buckling outward.

When party walls are demolished, it’s often too difficult to remove the bricks directly adjacent to the adjoining building. So you can often see the interior finishes—even paint on the walls—of the building that’s now gone. When something new is built there, they often just accept an eight-inch intrusion of the old wall rather than try to remove it. When the new façade is designed, it will include an eight-inch (or whatever) lip projecting beyond the new building’s structure to hide the now-entombed party wall.