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Robert Pence

Jeddah Tower 3,281'
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  1. If they want to preserve the terra cotta, probably the most realistic approach would be to make casts of it in-place and then preserve those so that the original designs can be reproduced and applied to possible new construction at that site. I've seen casts used to repair and restore detail on older buildings where the original ornamentation had deteriorated but the building still was structurally sound. Restorers were able to clean, repair, and restore the substrate and then apply the new decoration so that the repair appears seamless to viewers.
  2. Looks like solid, no-frills, reasonably intact working city. I find places like that quite comfortable.
  3. Very handsome city, in my opinion. Lots of substantial buildings and a well-kept, reasonably prosperous-looking downtown as befits the home of a surviving home to one of America's consistently well-managed railroads. In their hey-day the Roanoke shops could perform heavy maintenance on a wide range of powerful coal-fired steam locomotives, and their foundries and forges and vast machine shops built from the ground up many of the Norfolk & Western's signature locomotives like the sleek J-series engines that could maintain 110-mph speeds with the road's heavyweight premiere passenger trains.
  4. Impressive downtown, with lots of substantial-looking brick buildings that appear to be in good condition and largely still in use. Nelsonville is part of my ancestral stomping grounds; my brother has visited there and spent some time looking around, and I need to follow up and see what I can find.
  5. Illinois Railway Museum at Union is nearby, making it worth a trip. It's closed now until April, but during operating season there are steam and diesel trains, streetcars, and interurbans in operation as well as many impressive exhibits inside buildings.
  6. Nice upper-level facades, even where street levels experienced updates probably post-WWII. Crawfordsville is near Turkey Run State Park, with an abundance of hilly, rocky trails and good canoeing. George Bunting also designed two Romanesqe courthouses in Indiana, a limestone one in Liberty and a sandstone one in Bluffton. The one in Liberty was 95% complete, with move-in in progress, when its tower collapsed. No one was injured and the tower was immediately rebuilt and remains sound and in use. A few years ago, the one in Bluffton suddenly developed floor cracks in an area of the second floor. A study by a structural engineering firm found that since completion in 1890 the county clerk's document storage room had accumulated nearly seven tons of bound records of real estate transactions and court activities. The storage area was cleaned out and the cracked floor tiles were replaced, and the building appears stable since then. I still get a little nervous when I go there, though.
  7. Perhaps horses from one of the carriage-ride services? They look well-fed and well-enough cared for, but one horse looks as if it could use attention to chafing from buggy shafts, and the shaft and harness-rigging might need some maintenance to fix whatever is allowing it to chafe. They're beautiful, robust-looking horses.
  8. Robert Pence

    Pet Peeves!

    To use elevators, people should have to drop coins into a slot or swipe their credit card. People who have a legitimate need to use elevators could be issued "free pass" cards something like the handicapped parking placards they hang on their rear-view mirrors. To circumvent fraud, the card-swipe sensor could have some sort of biometric ID device attached. just a thumbprint would do.
  9. Try to do it in summer, unless you like fog and drizzle.
  10. Beautiful photo set! Excellent photos of a gorgeous old city.
  11. Nice-looking, well-kept city. I noticed one thing about layout that still survives from the era before automobiles reshaped our land-use patterns and to a great extent drew the life force away from out small cities; the Union Pacific depot terminates a street vista, with the Greyhound Bus depot on the right and a hotel on the left. Sadly, the nearest Amtrak station is at Ogden, Utah, 116 miles south, and the nearest Amtrak Thruway Bus Service is at Twin Falls, Idaho, 104 miles west, just a curbside stop with no shelter or amenities of any kind, not even a shelter, no restrooms or ticket office. Air service to Pocatello Regional Airport looks rather sparse, with Sky West, the only carrier, offering some seats from Denver to Pocatello for $402 the lowest price on a capacity-limited basis. It looks like the only way you get to Pocatello is by driving.
  12. Excellent photos. I think that in summer season Boise has a vibrant street life that reflects the presence and influence of a strong arts community. To see coverage of that, go over to SSP and look for some of Sawtooth's photo threads. The city has a gorgeous natural setting and is very bike-friendly. Public policy there is guided by a strong progressive philosophy, and is also overtlly gay-friendly, quite a contrast with the homophobic atmosphere that prevailed in 1955 during the McCarthy era and resulted in one of the nation's most scandalous witch hunts. For more about that, see this Wikipedia entry.
  13. When people look for egregious examples of deferred or neglected maintenance, they keep going back to the I-35 bridge collapse. If my memory is correct, the investigation showed that the collapse of that bridge was not caused by neglect or lack of maintenance, but by an engineering error; analysis of the stresses on the structure showed that the gusset plates should have been made from 1" steel plates, but the design called for 1/2" plates, and that's how it was built. The bridge was in good condition and did not have corrosion problems; it failed because it was designed wrong and nobody caught the mistake before the bridge was built to the faulty design specs.
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