Wednesday, June 6

under construction

Last year I moved into a new apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I loved the place, but there was one problem: a new building was under construction next door. When I complained about the noise, however, my dad made a good point: 'At least you can learn how they build apartment buildings.'

IMG_1926.JPGJune 1, 2006.

When I visited the apartment for the first time, contractors were clearing the remains of old garages that had been demolished on the site.

IMG_2168.JPGAugust 15, 2006.

Within a few weeks, the builders were digging foundations for the new building.

IMG_3690.JPGSeptember 13, 2006.

For about a month, a pumping truck poured concrete into wooden frames to build the foundation.

IMG_4732.JPGOctober 14, 2006.

Once the foundation was finished, prefabricated concrete floor plates were lifted on top. When the floor plates were anchored into place, workers built cinder block walls to support the next level.

IMG_4812.JPGOctober 26, 2006.

As each set of walls were completed, a new set of floor plates were lifted by a crane into place.

IMG_5549.JPGNovember 18, 2006.

And then another level of cinder block walls was added...

IMG_5851.JPGDecember 6, 2006.

The large crane that lifted the floor plates into place is visible in this photo. On days like this when the floors were being installed, the street was filled with 18-wheelers carrying prefabricated concrete plates.

IMG_6612February 10, 2007.

During a powerful windstorm in February, several strips of plastic blew off the roof and over the side of the building. They made a loud whipping sound that kept me up at night -- it was quite annoying. It was the only time that it seemed like anything went awry in the process, though. Overall, I was very impressed with the efficiency of the construction.

IMG_6810.JPGFebruary 26, 2007.

By the time winter started flexing its muscle, most of the structural elements were finished. As snow fell on the site, the construction workers were installing elements of the building's interior.

IMG_6868.JPGMarch 3, 2007.

On the night of March 3rd, the construction site was lit by a partial lunar eclipse. It was a surreal sight.

IMG_7721.JPGApril 10, 2007.

IMG_8051.JPGApril 19, 2007.

By mid-April, work had begun on the cosmetic elements of the building's exterior. Exposed cinder block walls were covered in brick and the window panes were put in place.

IMG_0437.JPGMay 21, 2007.

IMG_0164.JPGMay 31, 2007.

365 days after I first photographed the construction site, the lease on my apartment expired. After I finished moving out, I made sure to return one last time to take a final picture. Soon the building will be finished, but I won't get to see it. Nonetheless, my dad was right: now I know how they build apartment buildings.

Full construction photoset here.


Mandi said...

Very interesting. I like the photos too.

Anonymous said...

Me too! Probably a good time to leave, before all those people moved in!

Anonymous said...

dont you just hate it. once i have this beautiful view of the city where i live then next day they're constructing a building and all this noise, debris, trucks. ah you have to lose the view, suffer before that building got constucted!
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kristen said...

i randomly stumbled upon your blog. It's really interesting. Thanks for the great read!

Anonymous said...

Cool pics in da your blog! :)

Unknown said...

Your dad deserves a pat on the back for getting you to see the positive side of things. I live in a suburban area plagued by continuously developing retail stores. We have so many dead deer on the roads, because all of the trees have been cut down. I enjoyed watching you foster an interest in the construction rather than simply hate it because it is not what you had in mind. You might be interested in learning more about construction process and methods. You can read a ton of technical papers and expert reports about different construction technologies that are really interesting. I have suprised myself in what I have been able to learn. This building might have inspired a lifelong passion for you.

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