Friday, October 15, 2010

Mystery Device

OK, dear readers. I am going to let you in on something special and personal. I am going to show you photos from my very own apartment (there are pictures elsewhere on the web, but *I'm* not telling [you where they are]...).

So anyways, there is this mystery device on one of the beams on the ceiling in my living room above - or actually just directly in front - of the fireplace. Nobody seems to know quite what it is, does or was for. Anyway, last weekend I had the power off to do some rewiring because I am so big and butch (I actually did pull new wire, but it was mainly to take down a fixture to prep the ceiling for painting). So while I had the power off in that part of the house (well, ok, apartment) I decided to take this "thing" down to see what it was. Well, lo and behold, there was absolutely NO wiring, only two anchors for the screws in the beam. I'll try and get some better photos, since the picture doesn't show the label, which is "B&L Inc" if I remember correctly.

Here's another view (as I said, I'll try and get more shot), albeit a very blurry photo. The picture doesn't show the label or hole where something attached to the knob might have mounted.

My initial thought was that it was either a heat sensor or smoke detector for the fireplace, or else some sort of thermostat for the central heating system to turn it down/off when there was a fire, but since the convectors aren't individually controlled that seems off. I was (not so secretly) hoping that it WOULD (have been an old light fixture or spot light I guess) be something with conduit so I could install a spot focusing on the chimneypiece and mantel.

Any ideas as to what it was or could have been? I'm going to leave it up for the time being, since I don't want to fill and patch the holes and restain the beam.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two Holsman High Rises

So my regular readers probably know of my Henry K. Holsman obsession. So here are two for you. The taller (the brown building with stepped roof), 1321 E. 56th Street, of the two was meant to be the western twin of two buildings which the depression stopped. The units are spacious full floor units. Across the street is a more modest building - the red brick building which contains more modest units. Immediately to the left of 1321 you may notice a church, behind which lurks another Holsman complex. And to the far left, there is a small Harry Weese house (which I swear is blond brick except that every time I see it its, quite obviously, not).