I have the great good fortune to work in a building that's been standing since the 1880s. It's part of a complex of paper warehouses that were revolutionary for their time in that they brought the railyard to their backyard for the sake of efficiency. (This was something even Chicago didn't have at the time.) In 2006, the advertising firm I work for partnered with a development company and an architectural firm to kick out the pigeons and make the place livable. They did a lovely job.
One of my favorite things about the interior of the building is the massive beams. From the basement, where they are anchored in iron footings that must weigh hundreds of pounds each, they go all the way up to the sixth floor, getting progressively smaller. Still, at the top, they're roughly eight inches wide.
The photos are arranged as a beam stands; if you look at the number of floor planks next to the second and third shots, you'll see what I mean about the beam getting smaller.
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