Lamp Posts and Water Pumps in Winnetka

The village of Winnetka, a suburb of Chicago, incorporated in 1869, has still a few remnants from its earliest years found in the infrastucuture and architecture.  In particular, in the yards of some of the oldest houses that date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuies one can find […]

Read More

Fire Marks in Stockholm

Most of the buildings in Stockholm’s Old Town are still adorned with fire marks – plaques that showed that a building was insured in case of a fire. The signs, which depict a phoenix rising from the flames, were introduced in the 1740s. In the event of a fire, the fire brigade would […]

Newel Post Lamps in Lviv

Before electricity, stairwells were lit up by candles, gas lamps, and other types of lighting. Lanterns were hung from hooks or poles high in the central area of the stairwell, or sometimes the stairwell’s newel posts, due to their prime location, functioned also as lamp posts. Early newel posts burned […]

Antique Vacuum Valve in Lviv Stairwell

Last weekend I joined a couple of free tours that were organized as part of European Heritage Days of Lviv. On Sunday I went on one dedicated to Lviv Seccession (Art Noveau), where we learned about the Lviv “Montmartre” district and visited the former homes/studios and now museums of the […]

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. […]

Lublin’s Guard Stones

From 1795-1803 Lublin was part of New Galicia, a short-lived administrative region of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy. In 1803 it was merged with the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, but retained some autonomy. In 1809 Austria lost this territory, and in 1815 it became part of Congress Poland. A sampling of Lublin’s […]

Hitching Rings in Lublin and Warsaw

Lublin, Poland, still has some intact horse hitching rings. They are attached to the front of several buildings in downtown Lublin. These iron rings would have been used to tie up horses by people doing errands downtown. They probably started to fall out of use in the 1920s. I also […]

Guard Stones in Winnetka

Winnetka, a suburb of Chicago, has a few guard stones that used to protect the sides and corners of walls from carriages.