Hoisting Beams: Amsterdam

Amsterdam is beaming with hoisting beams. Previously I associated hoisting beams solely with old merchant’s homes, but unlike other port cities where I’ve seen them, in Amsterdam they are found not only on the old canal houses, but all over the city, including on ordinary residential buildings. Due to fifteenth […]

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Servant’s Quarters in Prewar Lviv Building

I suppose it was common for buildings in Lviv’s center and wealthier neighborhoods to have the architectural infrastructure for servants who lived with the families. These now largely antiquated architectural elements would have included a servant staircase, sleeping quarters, and a separate wash area. Fortunately, the planning of my apartment […]

Hoisting Beams: Stockholm

Many of Stockholm’s old buildings, especially in the Old Town, used to serve as storehouses/merchants’ houses, and thus remnants of the hoist systems can still be found.

Anchor Plates: Stockholm

Stockholm has a wide range of anchor plates — of all shapes and sizes, spanning back at least to the seventeenth century. My favorite is the one that looks like an owl: A collage of the various kinds of plates that can be found in Stockholm:  I found several examples […]

Sundial on Stable in Lviv

Hidden behind a tall fence at the end of a small street in Kastelivka stands a villa called “Julietka.” It was built for private use in 1891-1893 by Julian Zachariewicz and his son Alfred, two famous Lviv architects. Next to the villa is an old stable with a sundial.

Merchants’ Hoisting Beams in Riga

Although not nearly to the same extent as in Tallinn, remnants of the merchants’ hoisting mechanisms remain on several of the medieval houses in Riga. A granary from the 18th century

Merchants’ Hoisting Beams in Tallinn

Tallinn’s Old Town used to be an important trading city on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Fortunately, a majority of the medieval buildings have survived, including many of the merchants’ houses. The attic spaces—and sometimes several of the upper floors—of these houses were used to store the merchants’ goods. […]

Boot Scrapers in St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews, a historic town a few hours away from Edinburgh, has its share of boot scrapers – including some rather unique ones. Finding other uses for these cavities — a sign that boot scrapers are obsolete.

Pre-Russian Revolution Roller Shutter in Tallinn

In Tallinn, I found an old metal roller shutter with a Russian inscription. Estonia was part of the Russian Empire until 1917 and so the shutter dates to before the Russian Revolution. From an issue of the newspaper Сибирскій листокъ, dated April 10, 1905, there is an advertisement for Штори […]