August 2011: For The Record

Words: Dan Kamys For The Record

Like you, I have seen a lot in my lifetime, particularly in the architecture and construction arenas. Perfectly round buildings popping out of hillsides, and skyscrapers that look like missiles – you might think I’d be impossible to overwhelm, and even more difficult to impress. But you’d be wrong.

Having worked as a journalist and editor in real estate and construction for more than 10 of my 16 years in publishing, I often wonder if the day will come when a building is just a building.

I am happy to report that I am about as far from that point as one can be. Perhaps it’s a love of reporting on the topic of construction and development. After all, construction and infrastructure give our cities and towns their foundations. They are the faces of where we live. And, they are the futures of the places we visit, and the places we call home.

Or, perhaps, it’s just the snatching of my breath when I am face to face with, say, The Woolworth Building in New York City, or the Wrigley Building in Chicago.

Saint Patrick's CathedralHaving recently returned from a trip to New York (for play, rather than for work), I am, perhaps, a little more inspired than usual. There’s nothing like an architectural tour of one of our nation’s oldest and most developed cities to truly get my juices flowing for masonry construction.

Seeing the buildings I am totally in love with warms my heart. But on another level, I am moved to further appreciate the architects and builders who put such pain-staking time and effort into the creation of what can only be seen as functional art, in my opinion.

Incorporating masonry into architecture is paramount, if we want those structures still to be standing 100 years, 200 years, or longer, from now. It’s funny – you can look at a pre-war building in New York City and assess when it was built, based on the type of water tower located on its roof. But the brickwork, from afar, is timeless – its life, from any distance, endless.

I hope I never stop being inspired by our country’s gorgeous architecture and use of our beloved masonry. If that warm, fuzzy feeling I get when I stare down a 1,250-foot building is any indication, I think I’m safe from any lack of inspiration.

Speaking of masonry construction, have you seen the new Yankee Stadium?

Yankee Stadium

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