A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City

Answer 4 questions about 4 books report read the questions before you start doing it and the 4 reports are attached with the questions
2. Compare and contrast how the projects/infrastructure described have changed over time. Do you think that there is evidence from one book to the next, considering the timeline described in each, that the built environment is improving, or that people otherwise learned lessons from previous projects/infra-structure to improve the built environment and people’s lives? You are encouraged to think broadly about this question, including but not limited to issues related to quality of buildings, materials and methods used; human, health, safety, and environmental impact; how the public and/or private sectors organized to design, build, and maintain the projects/infrastructure described.3. Compare and contrast the impact of other factors had on these projects/infra-structure (such as bad luck, location, current events, political systems, economic markets, social norms at the time, etc. – things other than the way the places were built).4.Compare and contrast the ways in which the built environment described affected the society and people’s lives at the time? You can work from your answers to these questions in your individual reports (be specific, and argue from evidence).5. In what SPECIFIC ways do you think things would be different if the projects/infra-structure were built today?

Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City

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Book Report:

 

 

Table of contents:

 The Intro                                                                 … Page. 1

Effect of the structures            …Page. 1, Page. 2, and Page.3

Connection to the builder time and Place   …Page.3

Summary                                              …Page. 5 

Citation                                                         …Page. 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Americans at the start of the 20th century experienced many new opportunities and wealth.  The author is an American journalist, Neal Bascomb, who titled the book “Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City” in his book, he discussed in detail life in New York in the 20th centuries. The author of the book describes the fundamental and various stories of individuals who could be changing the city forever. He describes the city until it feels like it was the best city all the time. He focuses the story on New York and how the country attained its heartbeat. It was with the help of rich people and a dedicated group of architects.  The author describes the trend of Skyscrapers in the 1920s.  However, the changes in the economy were a result of the creation of the stock market. In the 1930s, the country experienced an economic fall, but it could not prevent skyscrapers’ projects. The story of competition among modelers and tip-top entrepreneurs charms New York’s consideration and inevitably the world. The competition to assemble the most important structure known to a man driven New York to turn into the city so decent they named it twice “New York, New York” like Frank Sinatra’s well-known tune.

There were many people behind the given projects. Architects William Van Alen and Craig Severance, the owners of the car business Walter Chrysler and GM’s John Raskob, rich people like George Ostrom, the Starrett Brothers, Shreve and Lamb, and Mayor Alfred Smith. A portion of the people were in the frontline to who the world that the sky is the limit; these were The Manhattan Company building (Starrett brothers, Severance, and Ohstrom), The Chrysler building (Van Alen and Walter Chrysler), and the empire state (Starrett brother and Raskob).  There were older historic buildings where the Empire State and the company of Manhattan buildings took place in the country. Their structures were unique, and they took New York’s heart as their main stage. The objective of this was to build the highest building in the town and the world at large.

There were bombing architecture and engineering; it was advantageous for the structures because it was when ideas and new projects were bombings. As the author describes in the book, the country experienced spectacular economic years, modern commerce, and technology concepts from the Chicago fair, and especially the Industrial Revolution. The company of the railroad created significant wealth. However, the office space was needed, and large organizations and corporations were willing to change that. Therefore, it led to a revolution in Chicago to build a seven-story office as the country’s faith forever.

There were buildings with an advantage over the other due to employing Starrett’s architects who were experienced mainly in skyscrapers; this is my viewpoint because they were supervising one scrapper in Chicago. They were economical, efficient, and fast in their work, which made them preferable. For instance, they managed to build the Empire state using only twenty-four dollars rather than the expected forty-seven million dollars.

Besides, Chrysler and Van Alen were not that fast because they managed to finish their Crown tallest structure more significant than the Manhattan Company building. They were not that fast and reliable, but they managed to complete their construction because Van Alen pulled at the last second, which added vertexes at the building’s pole. People were astonished by the gigantic structure even though from the start, it did not have good reviews, but Americans were happy because they had built a more prominent structure than the Eifel Tower. In the present, the building is still one of the finest architectural buildings in New York. In a short period, the construction of the empire state structure became the tallest building globally.

However, even though these buildings enjoyed good reviews, they faced some disadvantages, such as they were never done, which nobody could understand if such an immense structure could be built. The problem was not about the money because wealthy individuals sponsored the buildings at that time. The money became an issue when the economy deteriorated, but it was not enough to halt the projects because that was the main and only disadvantages.  Besides, during the time, the building of the Empire State and Manhattan suffered airplane crashes, but they did not collapse because firefighters came on time and settled the situation.  The incident showed the global that accident could occur anywhere, and such buildings on high location were exposed to such risks that could be extended to some individuals.

The building of such tallest structures was for having the highest building on earth where offices of banks, small and large corporations, banks, and their branches could have their names written on the top of the buildings that could be seen by the world. These buildings posed high risks, and real trouble such as collapsing could not be anticipated because they had an ambition of finishing such projects. The results from such facilities were to amaze people with such a tall structure. Because they were strategically located, they could be favorable for business and therefore attracted many people to rent the business place. Due to the market situation, the three buildings struggled to meet the living expectation even though they shared a good advertisement. They never rented as it was expected. Therefore, the owners decided to sell the building to the Filipino politician and later were sold to the candidate and Donald Trump’s entrepreneur family. Even though it was sold, its revenue was in question due to the economic fall. However, Chrysler building was lucky because it made it through the tough years during the leadership of William Chrysler until he retired; however, the building was not as successful as it was expected even though it made it through tough times. In the end, the Chrysler family lost the building, but their names were retained on the structure. Until today, the building does not serve as Chrysler Automobile Company headquarters anymore. But as for Manhattan Company did not keep its name to “The Trump Tower,” which up to date serves its primary purposes of being office structures.

Also, the Empire state experienced hard times in years. Still, when the economy got better, it started gaining in which the building became a worldwide fascination and one of the most leased structures in America. Be that as it may, the structure remained the tallest to work by a man in years. The structure was well made in which it was constructed by the use of steel and iron in which its skeleton was majorly being built by steel, and bricks were as well applied. During the construction time, some factors were not well considered, such as ecological sustainability, because not all constructors knew the effects of the construction materials on the ecosystem of the earth. The central idea for the constructors was to ensure the structure was built fast and using few resources.

However, these buildings now have undergone modification, which includes electrical transformation and changes in the elevator that made them efficient due to power. In the 20th century, constructions were different from modern buildings in terms of regulation, which slowed down construction speed in the contemporary world. The article called “Building the Bay Bridge; 1930s vs. today” by Lisa Vorderbrueggen describes the governmental regulations and ecological entities that regulated the speed at which these structures were constructed. In the present world, the materials used for construction are supposed to fee from any harm to the ambient. If they happened to pose considerable damage, then the project owner is accompanied by a fine. But for the use of steel and iron, little improvements have been experienced, especially on their effect on ecology as they are used in the construction of a skyscraper.

The construction of buildings in New York resulted from uplifting the city to be big and loud. It was also to fulfill the people’s dreams in the town; it induced big news that surrounded apple. Everyone resided in the city wanted peace. Still, due to the existence of Yankees, Wall Street, ladies dancing with no clot or tiny clothes, ABC, NBC, the opportunity, the freedom, and the automobile industry, they never enjoyed peace. At the start of the 20th century, the Eiffel Tower, which the Frenchman constructed, became the highest tower built by a man. The competition was urging for the Americans. They were aware of having a man in the country that could create more prominent buildings.

However, having more prominent names of millionaires on the building such as Ohrstrom, Raskob, and Chrysler were essential because New York was the only place such activities would be done. In the 20th century, people wanted money and achieved their dreams; it was the time technology moved to another level in which the constructed required change. It was the time which large organizations were expanding, and they wanted modern and suitable and spacious rooms for offices. It was the time that America needed to do something that could make America great, and it was within the architects’ ability in their mode of designing structures. It was the time that America was thinking big; they developed the idea of constructing skyscrapers that would change the look of the city. The economy was behind the success of the town, which gave rise to many millionaires. New York remains one of the important cities because of the buildings and its robust economy.

The author’s writing style is attractive because it made me feel like I am already in New York City. At the start of the article, the writer provides a description beautiful regarding the 20th century; it makes the book alive and enticing. He gives the rivalry which presents the powerful man trying to get to the top and how their egos played the game very well that offers a picture of what made the city what it is today. As the country’s economy was not favorable in the period, the projects could not so until the economy picked.  The book represents art, a significant history that describes a great city’s remarkable account in a great country and how it got transformed into its current state. I would advise anyone willing to know how the city started to find the book and read it. “In the account of Neal Bascomb, characters and building alike come vividly; it is due to ambition, greed, and technical creativity that were taking place in the twenties.  It is interesting the, excellently tools of the most significant architecture adventure of the 20th century”. —Ross King, author of Brunelleschi’s Dome.

 

 

Citations

Bascomb, Neal. Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City. New York: Doubleday, 2003. Print.

Maher, Jame. “Chrysler Building.” History and Photography by James Maher Photography. Web. 5 Mar. 2016. <http://www.jamesmaherphotography.com/articles/28-chrysler-building>.

Vorderbrueggen, Lisa. “Building the Bay Bridge: 1930s vs. Today.” – San Jose Mercury News. San Jose Mercury News. Web. 2 Mar. 2016. <http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_23833904/building-bay-bridge-1930s-vs-today>.

Steel Building Prices | Metal Kit Building Quotes | Custom Steel Buildings.” Steel Building Prices Metal Kit Building Quotes Custom Steel Buildings. Web. 11 Mar. 2016. <http://probldgteam.com/find/steel-building-systems-fairless-hills-pa-19030>.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brunelleschi’s Dome Book Report

Bassam Musfee

Thais Alves

CON E 101

October 16, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Brunelleschi’s Dome Book Report…………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

Description………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Impacts of the Structure…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Advantages………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Disadvantages of Brunelleschi’s Dome…………………………………………………………………………………. 5

Innovative Features of the Dome…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

Relationship to builder’s place and time…………………………………………………………………………………… 7

Location…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

Time………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

References…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

Book Review……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10

 

 

 

Brunelleschi’s Dome Book Report

Introduction

Brunelleschi’s Dome is a typical illustration of technology in a historical environment.  Ross King explores a significant milestone of medieval technology, the building of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore dome in Italy’s Florence region.  King received widespread commendation and praise for demystifying a complex subject to readers.  His book won the Year award of 2001’s Book Sense Book.  King carved out a niche as a great non-fiction writer who lectures across North America and Europe.  He has also described guided tours about architecturally fundamental building, Sistine Chapel, in Rome.

Description

Brunelleschi’s Dome illustrates how Filippo Brunelleschi created the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.  Construction of the cathedral started in 1296, but nobody could suggest the design for constructing and positioning the roof’s dome.  Brunelleschi came through with a solution and constructed the dome by 1436. His solution solved a difficulty that had plagued architects for a long time.  The book covers the biography of Brunelleschi, including his personal life, upbringing, and architectural accomplishments.  Furthermore, King touch on the Renaissance in Florence during the 15th century and the impact of contemporary philosophy, intrigue, and politics on Brunelleschi’s work.

Two engineering problems troubled architects in charge of the cathedral.  The first challenge was the circumference and weight of the dome.  Flying buttresses could not support the dome proposed, and architects lacked alternatives.  Besides, the use of the flying buttresses had been prohibited in Florence.  Secondly, the idea of stronger buttresses would still face the setback on how to mount the dome onto the cathedral courtesy of its bulk and size.  Therefore, there was stiff competition among talented architects, and nobody expected a clockmaker and goldsmith, Filippo Brunelleschi, to provide the necessary solution.  Nonetheless, as King illustrates, all other plans had significant flaws, and Brunelleschi’s plan won several hearts. Therefore, Brunelleschi’s Dome depicts Filippo Brunelleschi’s struggle to make his name and how success shocked everyone.

Impacts of the Structure

Advantages

The Duomo Cathedral propelled the Italian Renaissance by proving how physics work without formwork.  Previously, architects hypothesized the flowing of forces through edifices but could not evade temporary structures of construction. Brunelleschi used a single helix to prevent vertical brick lines from crossing each other.  In doing so, the lines remained parallel as in opus spicatum to ensure a negligible impact on the structure’s stability.  Other integral features, such as the plate-bande physics, also allow for the size, stability, and height of the duomo. Brunelleschi’s loxodrome structure influenced the Sangallo architects, who constructed several double loxodrome domes throughout Italy throughout the renaissance.  For instance, masters who constructed the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica applied Brunelleschi’s idea.  Filippo’s work set architects on a new path provided new intellectual and social esteem (King, 2013, p. 162).  Consequently, architecture changed during the Italian Renaissance from a mechanical art belittled into the treasured liberal art. Also, books were dedicated to Filippo, poems composed to honor him, portraits painted, busts carved, and biographies written.  He typically became a topic of myth.

The dome lived up to expectations through construction using original techniques that fulfilled the gap in expertise witnessed in Opera (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014). Brunelleschi analyzed Rome’s Pantheon then interpreted and implemented its knowledge to craft Florence Duomo.  He took three years in Rome, studying Roman constructions and taking notes on the use of concrete, lack of centering, continuous diminution, and self-standing dome. Filippo Brunelleschi advanced new techniques of construction that remain relevant in contemporary architecture. Additionally, Filippo’s architectural model became a scientific research point because of its peculiar dimensions and structures that are testing points for new technologies and theories (King, 2013, p. 153). King’s statement proves that Santa Maria del Fiore’s dome has simplified scientific studies and knowledge acquired for ocean transport.

The dome succeeded in unexpected ways by proving the significance of the rediscovery of the linear perspective principle to show converging parallel lines, which create an illusion.  Experts in Florence believed the construction of the dome was impossible. The dome’s original planners could not advise the best way to complete the project and prayed for God to provide experienced architects to find a breakthrough.Esteemed architects in Florence who were jealous of Brunelleschi’s innovative idea unsuccessfully tried to pull him down.  Also, the dome’s success was unexpected since Brunelleschi was not a trained artist and only participated in design and architecture contests out of passion. Filippo pursued his interests since childhood. King says that Filippo demonstrated “uncanny talent for solving mechanical problems” (King, 2013, p. 12). This statement proves that the environment played a significant part in shaping Filippo’s skills since he observed how cranes and hoists were used to raise blocks of stone.  This knowledge ensured he excelled as an apprentice in goldsmith and explored numerous talents.   The ability of Brunelleschi and related masons to position every stone beam, brick, and structural features of the dome with great precision inside the large cathedral remains a mystery.  Contemporary architects with their CAD software, GPS positioning devices, and laser levels still encounter challenges replicating what Brunelleschi achieved.  King says that Filippo’s contemporaries considered him a lunatic (King, 2013, p.  41). However, he succeeded regardless of the disapproval.

Disadvantages of Brunelleschi’s Dome

Florence cathedral and the dome have been vulnerable to outside forces, and King notes that the heavens could be envious of it.  Lightning strike the dome regularly, and such strikes cause significant damages (King, 2013, p.  168). The Cathedral lacked lightening arrestors throughout the 15th century until the 19th century.  The most significant lightening event occurred on April 5, 1492. A lightning bolt dispersed several marble tons falling into the streets on cupola’s north side.  Falling marbles are dangerous to human health and could injury anybody within the proximity of the dome.

The pattern of cracks on the dome is another setback.  According to Ottoni, Coïsson, and Blasi (2010, p. 62), the pattern of cracks changed the mechanical character of the dome, from a monolithic structure to eight distinct slices. In doing so, the dome no longer looked a circular shell but became four unrelated half-arches joined at the top.  King says that several cracks formed on the inner side of the inner shell in 1639 (King, 2013, p.  168). The cracks originated at the oculus and moved vertically up to the drum following the herringbone bond and cutting over Vasari’s fresco. Attributing factors for the fissures and strategies of mitigation have been controversial.  Thermal measuring equipment has been put into different holes made in the interior of the dome to check cracks. Rowland Mainstone suggested that cracks stem from moisture penetration into the masonry and changes in temperature. These incidents made iron rust.

Secondly, the cracks were thought to occur from the poor foundation of the cathedral.  Heavy traffic was also blamed for increasing the breadth and length of cracks.  Filippo never anticipated this incident when constructing the dome.  Consequently, buses and cars were outlawed from passing near the cathedral. These disadvantages prove that the dome could not withstand harsh weather vagaries and continually endangered human lives.

Innovative Features of the Dome

Brunelleschi applied an innovative approach to constructing the dome by incorporating the best technology, organizing masons, and coordinating activities to guarantee the success of the project.  Technological transformation encompassed a shift from scaffolding to necessary work platforms for heights and simple hoists and cranes to innovative animal-driven lifting engines.  The engines had reverse gears, which hauled a consistent flow of construction materials synchronized to the workforce pace (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p.  253). Secondly, materials used to construct the dome included lighter concrete at the center and brick shells, which declined in thickness at the top.  Project transformation included applying shared models to communicate ideas to masons by leading the main masons and coordination of the workforce to work as a team.  The project had eight segments and distribution of work to ensure one team operate every segment ensured smooth execution of project deliverables throughout the dome. Lastly, process transformation encompassed team using bricks through the pattern of complex herringbone to make walls without centers and templates to direct brickwork curvature.

The innovative process advanced by Filippo is still used in the contemporary business environment by knowledge brokers who advance new processes or products. These individuals determine and transfer ideas from known to unknown locations.  This process involves exploring different industries and studying underlying knowledge to link it with strategies for curbing existing problems.

Consequently, decision-makers enact new solutions by implementing new processes or introducing new products. Brunelleschi’s Dome is still relevant for reference in the current era, although its importance has diminished.  The world has witnessed advances in technology and the expansion of scientific knowledge to propose better structural engineering features.  Its legacy remains significant for the historic renaissance architecture.

Brunelleschi’s Dome also had environmental social effects.   The project manager valued the health, protection, and safety of the workforce since accidents could negatively affect the morale of workers.  For instance, the work platforms were barely one meter wide and constrained the passing and transition spaces.  Keeping a safe environment and reducing the dangers of working at high heights necessitated remarkable feats of organization.The project was equally environmentally friendly since Filippo used oxen to power hoist during construction. Brunelleschi increased the project’s safety measures. For instance, when workers elevated the platform of work, they increased screening boards and protective parapets to obstruct view (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p.  252). Furthermore, the project team clad in leather safety harnesses. Also, the consumption of wine was outlawed when working at raised heights.  Project team members selected higher or lower risk tasks that determined their pay. Brunelleschi created safe lifting engines.

Brunelleschi’s Dome is still in use and represents the world’s largest masonry dome.  Its legacy is felt in the contemporary world because it inspired the Italian renaissance, engineers, and artists throughout Europe.  The dome remains a significant tourist attraction in Florence because of its artistic construction.  Besides, it continues to raise revenue for the city and is also a source of prestige.  The ingenious solution which Filippo Brunelleschi determined is a significant reference in the current construction arena.

 

Relationship to builder’s place and time

Location

The cathedral in Florence with a spectacular dome was necessary to make it Europe’s major financial hub (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p. 247). Florence was among Europe’s top cities during the 14th century because of its fast-increasing population and significant wealth.  As such, a cathedral was useful to accommodate its population for significant religious ceremonies, to show the city’s ability in construction, and to increase the number of tourists.  The cathedral was finished by 1367 but lacked a dome due to inadequate expertise for 50 years before Filippo’s appointment of 1417.

Therefore, the location of the dome was specific to meet the business drives of Florence.  The 14th century’s financial revolution and rapid growth of population stimulated the beginning of banks and the money economy in Florence.  Florence had a population of 50,000, which was the same as London, and a cathedral reinforced its essence as a powerful and large mercantile city (King, 2013, p.  13).  The dome project centered on increasing civic pride, reputation, and generation of revenue in Florence through visiting pilgrims and the development of the real estate.

Time

Time also contributed toward the construction of Brunelleschi’s Dome. The cathedral of the Duomo project was finished by 1367 but remained incomplete for 50 years because it lacked a dome (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p. 244). As such, the cathedral was aesthetically unpleasing and attracted few pilgrims. Additionally, it could not generate revenue and hindered the civic pride of Florence.  The stalled project required urgent completion, which Filippo managed within 16 years.

Brunelleschi acknowledged that delay in beginning the project would cause his downfall as the sponsor of the project.  As such, he had to manage the project schedule, commence work at a pace, and show significant progress.  He skillfully advanced a critical path to follow to ensure work proceeds well and at the same time throughout the eight segments of the dome to optimize progress.  The architect established a progress rate by three significant operations of the external side, profile tracing, and work platform raising. Brunelleschi was aware of the scope of the project and made expert decisions throughout the management.

Conclusion

Brunelleschi succeeded in the Dome project using the knowledge he gained from the Pantheon. The cathedral and its dome in Florence is a significant tourist attraction and an area for religious activities.  Lessons from this project are useful for the success of contemporary projects.  However, a similar structure cannot be built today due to the challenges of transforming and transferring its best practices over diverse socio-historical circumstances. Also, advances of technology, organization during construction, and materials used make Brunelleschi’s Dome context dependent. Filippo’s capacity to construct the dome without flying buttresses proved his artistic abilities.  Therefore, it reminds architects and engineers the importance of creativity to achieve personal and professional goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

King, R. (2013). Brunelleschi’s dome: how a Renaissance genius reinvented architecture. Bloomsbury Publishing, USA.

Kozak-Holland, M., & Procter, C. (2014). Florence Duomo project (1420–1436): Learning best project management practice from history. International Journal of Project Management, 32(2), 242–255. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2013.05.003

Ottoni, F., Coïsson, E., & Blasi, C. (2010). The Crack Pattern in Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence: Damage Evolution from Historical to Modern Monitoring System Analysis. In Advanced materials research (Vol. 133, pp. 53-64). Trans Tech Publications Ltd.

 

Book Review

I enjoyed reading Ross King’s book and would recommend it to students of history and arts to learn the roots of the Italian renaissance.  I would also recommend it to casual readers interested in understanding the engineering framework of Italy at the beginning of the 15th century. Brunelleschi’s Dome proves that implementing any change would face enormous obstacles, although everyone would later feel part of its success. It shows persistence in chasing one’s dreams based on three significant aspects.  Firstly, it is necessary to seize opportunities others disregard.  Secondly, an individual should have the creativeness and ingenuity to separate oneself from rivals.  Lastly, success requires the leverage of one’s personal traits to succeed.  The three aspects guarantee to overcome any obstacles in the path to success. We must overcome personal jealousies, unwelcome political conditions, and infighting to achieve goals just as Filippo Brunelleschi did to accomplish his dream for the great Cathedral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Brunelleschi’s Dome Book Report…………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

Description………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Impacts of the Structure…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Advantages………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Disadvantages of Brunelleschi’s Dome…………………………………………………………………………………. 5

Innovative Features of the Dome…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

Relationship to builder’s place and time…………………………………………………………………………………… 7

Location…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

Time………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

References…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

Book Review……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10

 

 

 

Brunelleschi’s Dome Book Report

Introduction

Brunelleschi’s Dome is a typical illustration of technology in a historical environment.  Ross King explores a significant milestone of medieval technology, the building of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore dome in Italy’s Florence region.  King received widespread commendation and praise for demystifying a complex subject to readers.  His book won the Year award of 2001’s Book Sense Book.  King carved out a niche as a great non-fiction writer who lectures across North America and Europe.  He has also described guided tours about architecturally fundamental building, Sistine Chapel, in Rome.

Description

Brunelleschi’s Dome illustrates how Filippo Brunelleschi created the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.  Construction of the cathedral started in 1296, but nobody could suggest the design for constructing and positioning the roof’s dome.  Brunelleschi came through with a solution and constructed the dome by 1436. His solution solved a difficulty that had plagued architects for a long time.  The book covers the biography of Brunelleschi, including his personal life, upbringing, and architectural accomplishments.  Furthermore, King touch on the Renaissance in Florence during the 15th century and the impact of contemporary philosophy, intrigue, and politics on Brunelleschi’s work.

Two engineering problems troubled architects in charge of the cathedral.  The first challenge was the circumference and weight of the dome.  Flying buttresses could not support the dome proposed, and architects lacked alternatives.  Besides, the use of the flying buttresses had been prohibited in Florence.  Secondly, the idea of stronger buttresses would still face the setback on how to mount the dome onto the cathedral courtesy of its bulk and size.  Therefore, there was stiff competition among talented architects, and nobody expected a clockmaker and goldsmith, Filippo Brunelleschi, to provide the necessary solution.  Nonetheless, as King illustrates, all other plans had significant flaws, and Brunelleschi’s plan won several hearts. Therefore, Brunelleschi’s Dome depicts Filippo Brunelleschi’s struggle to make his name and how success shocked everyone.

Impacts of the Structure

Advantages

The Duomo Cathedral propelled the Italian Renaissance by proving how physics work without formwork.  Previously, architects hypothesized the flowing of forces through edifices but could not evade temporary structures of construction. Brunelleschi used a single helix to prevent vertical brick lines from crossing each other.  In doing so, the lines remained parallel as in opus spicatum to ensure a negligible impact on the structure’s stability.  Other integral features, such as the plate-bande physics, also allow for the size, stability, and height of the duomo. Brunelleschi’s loxodrome structure influenced the Sangallo architects, who constructed several double loxodrome domes throughout Italy throughout the renaissance.  For instance, masters who constructed the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica applied Brunelleschi’s idea.  Filippo’s work set architects on a new path provided new intellectual and social esteem (King, 2013, p. 162).  Consequently, architecture changed during the Italian Renaissance from a mechanical art belittled into the treasured liberal art. Also, books were dedicated to Filippo, poems composed to honor him, portraits painted, busts carved, and biographies written.  He typically became a topic of myth.

The dome lived up to expectations through construction using original techniques that fulfilled the gap in expertise witnessed in Opera (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014). Brunelleschi analyzed Rome’s Pantheon then interpreted and implemented its knowledge to craft Florence Duomo.  He took three years in Rome, studying Roman constructions and taking notes on the use of concrete, lack of centering, continuous diminution, and self-standing dome. Filippo Brunelleschi advanced new techniques of construction that remain relevant in contemporary architecture. Additionally, Filippo’s architectural model became a scientific research point because of its peculiar dimensions and structures that are testing points for new technologies and theories (King, 2013, p. 153). King’s statement proves that Santa Maria del Fiore’s dome has simplified scientific studies and knowledge acquired for ocean transport.

The dome succeeded in unexpected ways by proving the significance of the rediscovery of the linear perspective principle to show converging parallel lines, which create an illusion.  Experts in Florence believed the construction of the dome was impossible. The dome’s original planners could not advise the best way to complete the project and prayed for God to provide experienced architects to find a breakthrough.Esteemed architects in Florence who were jealous of Brunelleschi’s innovative idea unsuccessfully tried to pull him down.  Also, the dome’s success was unexpected since Brunelleschi was not a trained artist and only participated in design and architecture contests out of passion. Filippo pursued his interests since childhood. King says that Filippo demonstrated “uncanny talent for solving mechanical problems” (King, 2013, p. 12). This statement proves that the environment played a significant part in shaping Filippo’s skills since he observed how cranes and hoists were used to raise blocks of stone.  This knowledge ensured he excelled as an apprentice in goldsmith and explored numerous talents.   The ability of Brunelleschi and related masons to position every stone beam, brick, and structural features of the dome with great precision inside the large cathedral remains a mystery.  Contemporary architects with their CAD software, GPS positioning devices, and laser levels still encounter challenges replicating what Brunelleschi achieved.  King says that Filippo’s contemporaries considered him a lunatic (King, 2013, p.  41). However, he succeeded regardless of the disapproval.

Disadvantages of Brunelleschi’s Dome

Florence cathedral and the dome have been vulnerable to outside forces, and King notes that the heavens could be envious of it.  Lightning strike the dome regularly, and such strikes cause significant damages (King, 2013, p.  168). The Cathedral lacked lightening arrestors throughout the 15th century until the 19th century.  The most significant lightening event occurred on April 5, 1492. A lightning bolt dispersed several marble tons falling into the streets on cupola’s north side.  Falling marbles are dangerous to human health and could injury anybody within the proximity of the dome.

The pattern of cracks on the dome is another setback.  According to Ottoni, Coïsson, and Blasi (2010, p. 62), the pattern of cracks changed the mechanical character of the dome, from a monolithic structure to eight distinct slices. In doing so, the dome no longer looked a circular shell but became four unrelated half-arches joined at the top.  King says that several cracks formed on the inner side of the inner shell in 1639 (King, 2013, p.  168). The cracks originated at the oculus and moved vertically up to the drum following the herringbone bond and cutting over Vasari’s fresco. Attributing factors for the fissures and strategies of mitigation have been controversial.  Thermal measuring equipment has been put into different holes made in the interior of the dome to check cracks. Rowland Mainstone suggested that cracks stem from moisture penetration into the masonry and changes in temperature. These incidents made iron rust.

Secondly, the cracks were thought to occur from the poor foundation of the cathedral.  Heavy traffic was also blamed for increasing the breadth and length of cracks.  Filippo never anticipated this incident when constructing the dome.  Consequently, buses and cars were outlawed from passing near the cathedral. These disadvantages prove that the dome could not withstand harsh weather vagaries and continually endangered human lives.

Innovative Features of the Dome

Brunelleschi applied an innovative approach to constructing the dome by incorporating the best technology, organizing masons, and coordinating activities to guarantee the success of the project.  Technological transformation encompassed a shift from scaffolding to necessary work platforms for heights and simple hoists and cranes to innovative animal-driven lifting engines.  The engines had reverse gears, which hauled a consistent flow of construction materials synchronized to the workforce pace (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p.  253). Secondly, materials used to construct the dome included lighter concrete at the center and brick shells, which declined in thickness at the top.  Project transformation included applying shared models to communicate ideas to masons by leading the main masons and coordination of the workforce to work as a team.  The project had eight segments and distribution of work to ensure one team operate every segment ensured smooth execution of project deliverables throughout the dome. Lastly, process transformation encompassed team using bricks through the pattern of complex herringbone to make walls without centers and templates to direct brickwork curvature.

The innovative process advanced by Filippo is still used in the contemporary business environment by knowledge brokers who advance new processes or products. These individuals determine and transfer ideas from known to unknown locations.  This process involves exploring different industries and studying underlying knowledge to link it with strategies for curbing existing problems.

Consequently, decision-makers enact new solutions by implementing new processes or introducing new products. Brunelleschi’s Dome is still relevant for reference in the current era, although its importance has diminished.  The world has witnessed advances in technology and the expansion of scientific knowledge to propose better structural engineering features.  Its legacy remains significant for the historic renaissance architecture.

Brunelleschi’s Dome also had environmental social effects.   The project manager valued the health, protection, and safety of the workforce since accidents could negatively affect the morale of workers.  For instance, the work platforms were barely one meter wide and constrained the passing and transition spaces.  Keeping a safe environment and reducing the dangers of working at high heights necessitated remarkable feats of organization.The project was equally environmentally friendly since Filippo used oxen to power hoist during construction. Brunelleschi increased the project’s safety measures. For instance, when workers elevated the platform of work, they increased screening boards and protective parapets to obstruct view (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p.  252). Furthermore, the project team clad in leather safety harnesses. Also, the consumption of wine was outlawed when working at raised heights.  Project team members selected higher or lower risk tasks that determined their pay. Brunelleschi created safe lifting engines.

Brunelleschi’s Dome is still in use and represents the world’s largest masonry dome.  Its legacy is felt in the contemporary world because it inspired the Italian renaissance, engineers, and artists throughout Europe.  The dome remains a significant tourist attraction in Florence because of its artistic construction.  Besides, it continues to raise revenue for the city and is also a source of prestige.  The ingenious solution which Filippo Brunelleschi determined is a significant reference in the current construction arena.

 

Relationship to builder’s place and time

Location

The cathedral in Florence with a spectacular dome was necessary to make it Europe’s major financial hub (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p. 247). Florence was among Europe’s top cities during the 14th century because of its fast-increasing population and significant wealth.  As such, a cathedral was useful to accommodate its population for significant religious ceremonies, to show the city’s ability in construction, and to increase the number of tourists.  The cathedral was finished by 1367 but lacked a dome due to inadequate expertise for 50 years before Filippo’s appointment of 1417.

Therefore, the location of the dome was specific to meet the business drives of Florence.  The 14th century’s financial revolution and rapid growth of population stimulated the beginning of banks and the money economy in Florence.  Florence had a population of 50,000, which was the same as London, and a cathedral reinforced its essence as a powerful and large mercantile city (King, 2013, p.  13).  The dome project centered on increasing civic pride, reputation, and generation of revenue in Florence through visiting pilgrims and the development of the real estate.

Time

Time also contributed toward the construction of Brunelleschi’s Dome. The cathedral of the Duomo project was finished by 1367 but remained incomplete for 50 years because it lacked a dome (Kozak-Holland & Procter, 2014, p. 244). As such, the cathedral was aesthetically unpleasing and attracted few pilgrims. Additionally, it could not generate revenue and hindered the civic pride of Florence.  The stalled project required urgent completion, which Filippo managed within 16 years.

Brunelleschi acknowledged that delay in beginning the project would cause his downfall as the sponsor of the project.  As such, he had to manage the project schedule, commence work at a pace, and show significant progress.  He skillfully advanced a critical path to follow to ensure work proceeds well and at the same time throughout the eight segments of the dome to optimize progress.  The architect established a progress rate by three significant operations of the external side, profile tracing, and work platform raising. Brunelleschi was aware of the scope of the project and made expert decisions throughout the management.

Conclusion

Brunelleschi succeeded in the Dome project using the knowledge he gained from the Pantheon. The cathedral and its dome in Florence is a significant tourist attraction and an area for religious activities.  Lessons from this project are useful for the success of contemporary projects.  However, a similar structure cannot be built today due to the challenges of transforming and transferring its best practices over diverse socio-historical circumstances. Also, advances of technology, organization during construction, and materials used make Brunelleschi’s Dome context dependent. Filippo’s capacity to construct the dome without flying buttresses proved his artistic abilities.  Therefore, it reminds architects and engineers the importance of creativity to achieve personal and professional goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

King, R. (2013). Brunelleschi’s dome: how a Renaissance genius reinvented architecture. Bloomsbury Publishing, USA.

Kozak-Holland, M., & Procter, C. (2014). Florence Duomo project (1420–1436): Learning best project management practice from history. International Journal of Project Management, 32(2), 242–255. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2013.05.003

Ottoni, F., Coïsson, E., & Blasi, C. (2010). The Crack Pattern in Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence: Damage Evolution from Historical to Modern Monitoring System Analysis. In Advanced materials research (Vol. 133, pp. 53-64). Trans Tech Publications Ltd.

 

Book Review

I enjoyed reading Ross King’s book and would recommend it to students of history and arts to learn the roots of the Italian renaissance.  I would also recommend it to casual readers interested in understanding the engineering framework of Italy at the beginning of the 15th century. Brunelleschi’s Dome proves that implementing any change would face enormous obstacles, although everyone would later feel part of its success. It shows persistence in chasing one’s dreams based on three significant aspects.  Firstly, it is necessary to seize opportunities others disregard.  Secondly, an individual should have the creativeness and ingenuity to separate oneself from rivals.  Lastly, success requires the leverage of one’s personal traits to succeed.  The three aspects guarantee to overcome any obstacles in the path to success. We must overcome personal jealousies, unwelcome political conditions, and infighting to achieve goals just as Filippo Brunelleschi did to accomplish his dream for the great Cathedral.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  1. Table of Contents…………………………………… 2

 

  1. Introduction………………………………………… 3

 

  1. Description…………………………………………. 4

 

  1. Impacts of the Structure……………………………. 4

 

  1. Relationship to the Builders………………………… 7

 

  1. Conclusion…………………………………………. 8

 

  1. Review……………………………………………… 9

 

  1. References…………………………………………. 10

 

 

 

 

The discovery of the river leading from New York to Albany in 1609 by Henry Hudson, was the result of an unsuccessful attempt to seek a direct westward passage to the Pacific. Since then, many individuals had pondered if a direct waterway connecting the Atlantic coast to the shores of the Pacific could be possible. George Washington was such an individual to envision a canal that would bring economic growth not only to the state of New York, but to the entire United States. Peter L. Bernstein, in his book Wedding of the Waters: The Eerie Canal and the making of a Great Nation, describes the history of the great canal that revolutionized travel between lake Eerie in Buffalo to Albany, NY. The collaboration of great minds that envisioned this engineering marvel and the men that campaigned for its construction, aided in solidifying America as a global power and helped establish the institution of American engineering.

DeWitt Clinton, mayor of New York city (1811-1815) and governor of NY state (1817-1823 & 1825-1828), was ultimately the driving force behind the construction of the canal. He and his colleges had lobbied and campaigned for years to connect 363 miles of boat passages extending across upstate New York. Peter L. Bernstein states that the function of a canal is to “hold the water in the ditch motionless so that boats can move with equal ease in either direction” (Bernstein p35). This is conducted by use of locks placed in areas where elevation drops dramatically. Essentially, a vessel that travels downstream for example, enters a box like structure filled with water, the upstream doors close behind the boat and slowly the downstream doors open, releasing water pressure while lowering the boat to the level of the lower tier. The original design of the canal proposed by DeWitt et al, would consist of 363 miles in length, would require 83 locks to raise and lower boats, and the canal would be dug 40 feet in width and 4 feet deep with sufficient space for horses and workers to move freely along the banks. The difference in elevation between the Lake Eerie point of the canal in Buffalo, to the point in Albany measures 570 feet which accounts for the 83 locks needed for travel. Many admirers of the canal were impressed by the engineering of this great American structure and by the short amount of time taken to build it, however it was not an easy road for the team.

The team of unexperienced engineers and land surveyors would be met with many hurdles to overcome such as public outcry, political roadblocks, and financial constraints that would delay the project DeWitt was so eager to implement. His determination in creating this modern aqua highway would increase trade among the western territories and significantly

 

reduce costs for transporting goods across upstate New York. The planned proposal of the project was to begin construction in separate phases beginning with the middle section near Rome NY, where ground was relatively level in both directions for miles. On July 4th, 1817, construction had officially begun, but not without its problems. The laborers had the task of first removing the vast amounts of trees and stumps to make way for back breaking excavation to commence which created a slow start. These obstacles that hindered the productivity of the canal were challenged with new innovative techniques in hopes to increase work rate while reducing costs associated with labor. American engineering was established and would continue to inspire more productivity across the United States for years. After the completion of the entire canal on October 26, 1825 the state of New York had solidified itself as the leading power in the nation. Washington’s vision coupled with DeWitt’s persistence and a commission of forward-thinking engineers helped shape the young country still in its infancy, setting the stage for enormous prosperity and innovation.

The advantages in connecting Albany to Lake Eerie were substantial. The cost of transporting goods by land had been $10 per tons versus 20¢ per ton via Eerie canal, and land travel put a strain on economic growth. Passengers looking to traverse from New York city to Mississippi no longer had to endure the rough terrain and long journeys by horse and carriage. Most importantly, commerce was expanding, and populations were increasing along the towns near the canal. Rochester had seen the largest increase in population among the towns along the Eerie Canal between 1827 with 8000 people to 1852 with 36,000 people (p270). This was an indication that jobs were plentiful, and the success of the canal was proving itself to be true. Known as the Flour City, a reference to the flour production so common in that city, Rochester had exported over 10,000 barrels of flour in its first ten days of production. Eventually in the modern age, Rochester would become home to fortune 500 giant Xerox company providing a financially secure city. Syracuse had seen a substantial increase in demand for their salt mines and the local families profited greatly from shipments to New York city and to the west. Albany had expanded as well with the addition of a new wharf and docks, a sign that capital gains were increasing. The exchange of goods from west to east and vice versa, no longer meant the reliance of foreign goods from the British or French however, the United States would show the world that it would rely on its own resources for financial stability.

 

 

Building the Eerie Canal did bring certain advantages to the local population that were occupying these towns along the proposed route. DeWitt and the other members in charge of the project decided on hiring locals to dig small sections of the canal. The men in these regions new the terrain and according to DeWitt, they would build with a sense of pride and embrace the gesture. The men would be compensated for their labor in the amount of $12 per month including meals and an occasional whisky for jobs well done. Though these local men did not know how to build a canal per say, their experience in a wide variety of building practices added some diversity to the project. The benefits obtained in observing how different techniques in digging, helped produce more efficient practices to save time, funding and labor.

No one could anticipate just how successful the new waterway could have been. After over $6 Million dollars invested in the construction of the site, the revenue collected from the tolls paid for the funds borrowed and even covering the high interest rates. The commission collected tolls on goods such as corn, lumber, bricks, salt, and other common goods being transported along the canal. Passenger boats were charged 5 cents per mile and all collections amounted to $23,001 in 1820, then just one year later collecting over $115,000 in revenue. If the success of the Eerie Canal could be measured, it would be through the amount of revenue it collects annually. In 1847, the annual tolls collected amounted to over $3,000,000 (Erich Grome), an amount that today is valued at over $82,300,000 (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis). This clearly was not anticipated to be such a success however the original drafters of the canal knew that it would certainly benefit the entire country and solidify New York state as an empire.

The economic boom that surrounded the cities of Buffalo, Lockport, Rochester, and others brought many advantages to those cities and created a firestorm of economic growth, yet there were also negative impacts that plagued the canal and would cause minor disruptions in its future. The canal would inevitably be usurped by a more innovative technology that would transport items much faster than by boat. The railway system that was also gaining notoriety for its simple design and efficient manner in saving time, led to the reduction in using the Eerie Canal. Furthermore, the construction of the St. Lawrence Canal in neighboring Canada allowed

 

for transatlantic ships to enter the St. Lawrence river into Lake Ontario essentially monopolizing the trade route ending commercial travel along the Eerie Canal.

The increased number of settlers that flooded to these cities meant that there would be social clashes bound to arise in these newly formed ports. Religious dwellers had expressed their disdain for authorities permitting the use of boats on the holy Sabbath, yet they were quickly outnumbered in support for the water vessels to continue to operate during Sundays. The thought of shutting down the canal and not profit from the massive amounts of tourism or commercial commerce was preposterous. The religious members of the community were growing weary of the increased levels of prostitution and alcohol imported to their town that their concerns were justified. Another quite unexpected disadvantage in creating this artificial water passage was the constant re-emerging of diseases such as smallpox and cholera that had haunted the communities for years (Encyclopedia.com). Fast forwarding to present day, some disadvantages to the individuals that live near the canal may include their displeasure with providing monetary aid to revitalize the Eerie canal. Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state of New York will invest $300,000,000( Andrew Cuomo) to reimagine the canal which may anger residents who are not content with fixing a dead transportation system.

The initial design of the Eerie canal included the use of horses along the embankments to aid in pushing the boats upstream. This simple yet effective method of towing the boats by horse solved the issues that restricted the boats from travelling in a certain direction. The Eerie Canal was not an innovative design that had never been seen before, quite the contrary. However, the practices and innovative methods used in the digging process is where American engineering begins to shine. Endless rows of trees had haunted the workers in the beginning stages of the dig near Rome NY. At first the trees were cut, stumps were hand dug all along the stretch of the canal, and then removed to make way for digging in the designated areas.  The laborers would create a device that would revolutionize the way labor would be performed on the trees. The device consisted of two large wheels attached to a sturdy, thick axle some 30 feet in length, a smaller wheel in the center of the axle. A chain was placed around the tree stump and then the other end of the chain would be wrapped around the axle, close to the center wheel. The outer wheels would be braced so as not to roll away once tension was applied to the chain, and in a few moments of applying force to the stump, the remaining tree in the ground would be yanked

 

out with minimal effort. Once the trees were cleared from the proposed path of excavation, dynamite was commonly used to assist in breaking apart the ground for easier digging. This produced a huge mess as dirt and debris would rain from the sky after a session of blasting was conducted, but it was an effective tool. One such tool that aided the laborers in softening the earth that was set to be excavated was the use of horse drawn plows. These were v shaped pieces of iron that dug into the ground, ripping through the vast system of tree roots, embedded into the ground. Had it not been for the practical experience on field by the workers conducting the dig, these contraptions may have never been discovered.

One of the more interesting discoveries when it came to innovative building techniques used to build the Eerie Canal was the use of special mortar. Dr Andrew Barto from the town of Chittenango had a special mixture of sand and limestone that would harden the mixture to granite like density. The canal was experiencing many leaks from their previous attempts to waterproof the cracks and Dr. Barto’s concoction would be just the right material to use for a solid, leak proof structure. The canal is still in use today, however it mainly carries personal vessels for pleasure and not so much for commercial purposes. The canal was reconstructed 3 times to widen the canal to accommodate larger vessels passing through. The Eerie Canal was the most important structure that had been built in the United States but as it sits today, the canal is nothing more than a heritage site preserved as a reminder of the great American engineering practices that still stand today.

The location of the Eerie canal was carefully selected after months of travel up and down the route that would extend from Albany to Lake Eerie. DeWitt Clinton, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Joseph Ellicot, Myron Holley, and Samuel Young all settled on the final locations that the canal would lay on. Lake Eerie was chosen as the point of entry to the west as opposed to entering Lake Ontario which some members of government had proposed and insisted on being the wiser choice. However in the end, the smarter decision to connect Rochester to Buffalo was agreed upon and was implemented towards the end of the final stages of the build. The time period of the early 1800s lacked modern machinery that could have influenced a different location than what was chosen by DeWitt and the crew. If George Washington had secured the funding necessary for him to extend the Potomac River across the state of Virginia, DeWitt Clinton may not have pushed so much the efforts that he made to secure New York state as a

 

super power. The water passage was created during this time period when water navigation was still considered a staple in travel and the rise to travelling by train was still in its infancy. The conditions of roads really discouraged people from long distance travel on the muddy, bumpy, uneven terrain. The necessity to unify the country by connecting one end to the other also dictated the time and location of the structure that was built. After a time of war that almost financially devastated the country, the time to boost the economy was then.

In today’s world where the car reigns supreme, and air travel becomes increasingly more convenient, the need for boat travel has diminished greatly. I cannot imagine a city in North America that would utilize a canal to the same degree as was used in the 1830s to the 1900s. In today’s society, the cost associated with constructing an artificial waterway would not be justified. The lack of public interest and lack of people with boats leads me to believe that a structure like the Eerie Canal would fail before the efforts to build it would become reality. However I do love to build and would not pass up the opportunity to create an imaginary structure so here is how I would proceed with my project.

If the same canal were to be built today from start to finish, the first noticeable difference would be the equipment used to dig. Excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, and dump trucks would be the main tools used to break apart soil and remove it from the area by use of the dump trucks. I would then send in compactors to tamp down the earth creating a solid foundation and use backfill to ensure a more stable earth type than random soil. I would also dig a much deeper and wider trench than that of the original design of the Eerie Canal to accommodate future need for anticipated expansion. Reinforcement bar and concrete is my preferred method of constructing this canal because it is very easy to manipulate contours of the structure being built. Finally to ensure that this structure does not fail by way of leaking, I would also waterproof the bottom and sides of the canal to help reduce the amount of corrosion the concrete may experience. Certainly the extreme cold conditions of the north, create another series of issues if the ice happens to expand in cracks that the bare concrete my contain.

The book Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation by Peter Bernstein was very informative and is an excellent source of material for an assignment of this caliber. I must admit I did enjoy the subject matter of the novel and the political history behind the creation of the Erie Canal, however I do find the book to be a bit repetitive in its

 

 

delivery. The majority of the book dives too deep into the politics surrounding the events that led to building the canal and not enough attention was given to the actual design and building of the canal itself. I struggled to read this book without slowly closing my eyes after 10 minutes of reading. I must conclude that I would recommend this book to a student who is producing a report for a class but as a source of enjoyable entertainment is where I must stop short.

 

 

WORKS CITED

The Erie Canal .” American Eras. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2020 <www.encyclopedia.com>.

“Consumer Price Index, 1800-.” Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 16 Oct. 2020 www.minneapolisfed.org/about-us/monetary-policy/inflation-calculator/consumer-price-index-1800-

Grome, Erich, “Holding Water: The Political and Economic Debates of the New York State Canal System 1895 – 1903” (2015). Honors Theses. 318. 16 Oct. 2020 digitalworks.union.edu/theses/318

Governor Cuomo, Andrew. “2020 State of the State”. 16 Oct. 2020 www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-29th-proposal-2020-state-state-300-million-plan-reimagine-iconic-erie

Bernstein, Peter L. Wedding of the Waters: The Eerie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation.

W.W. Norton & Company. New York, 2005.

 

 

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