Anchor Plates in Lviv

Anchor plates are ubiquitous in Lviv as they are on most of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings in the city. Anchor plates (also called wall washers, pattress plates, masonry stars, etc.) are used to reinforce the structure of masonry buildings. Made from cast or wrought iron, these plates are connected to […]

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boot scraper

The Forgotten Boot Scrapers of Lviv

Many years ago I started noticing strange-looking metal objects near certain doors in Lviv. I didn’t give them much thought until I saw one in Przemyśl, Poland, and my friend told me what it was: a boot scraper. Little did I know that this was the start of a new […]

Boot Scrapers in Oxford

In addition to its abundance of beautiful architecture, famous colleges and courtyards, spires, museums, and canals, Oxford also has its fair share of lovely boot scrapers. In a quiet residential area, I stumbled across a long street filled with boot scrapers — almost every one with a unique shape. But they […]

Remnants of Coal Elevators

One of the remnants of the coal infrastructure is the manually operated freight elevator. Coal would have been transported into the courtyards of buildings along tracks located in the entrance ways. Then from the courtyard, the coal would have been hoisted up to each floor on an elevator. This would […]

Plant Hangers in Lviv

These metal curiosities found on many of Lviv’s balconies are plant hangers. Most remain unused these days, but some people still use them to decorate their balconies and courtyards with beautiful flowers. Others have found new purposes for them. Repurposed to dry shoes

Anchor Plates: Amsterdam

Along with hoisting beams, anchor plates are a prominent feature of Amsterdam’s building facades.

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 […]

Baltimore’s Boot Scrapers

Antique Iron Fences in Annapolis

Annapolis has it’s fair share of antique iron fences. Like in Chicago and Winnetka, there are many fences made by The Stewar Iron Works, formely the largest iron fence maker in the world. The Stewart Iron Works The Stewart Iron Works, 3rd & Culvert St, Cincinnati, O *** G. Krug […]

Antique Iron Fences in Winnetka

I found two antique fences in Winnetka—both made by the Stewart Iron Works. Stewart Iron Works, an ironworks plant located in Covington, Kentucky, was founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1910. A branch in Cincinnati operated from 1903 to 1915. The Stewart Iron Works — Cinncinati, Ohio The Stewart Iron Works Co. — Covington, […]

Antique Iron Fences in Chicago

I discovered some old fences while in the States this summer—first I found several beautiful antique fences on Hoyne Street in Chicago, and then I came across some in my suburb and in Annapolis, and now back in Lviv I have also started paying attention to them. In all three places—Chicago, […]