Showing posts from June, 2016

Ghost Signs on Hlyboka Street

I recently came across this old photo from 1930 with a hand-painted sign.  The remnants of these old signs are still visible today.
Lwów 1930 Głęboka 12
Lviv 2016 12 Hlyboka St.

Anchor Plates in Amsterdam

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

Hoisting Beams in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is beaming with hoisting beams. Previously I associated hoisting beams solely with old merchant's homes, but unlike other port cities where I've seen them, in Amsterdam they are found not only on the old canal houses, but all over the city, including on ordinary residential buildings.

Due to fifteenth century planning laws, facades of buildings were built of lightweight materials with large windows to reduce weight. The smaller the width of the frontage, the lower taxes had to paid. In the seventeenth century, the city became more prosperous and thus wider, double-fronted merchant's homes sprung up.  The merchant's houses had attics and cellars which served as storage spaces for the goods that were transported by boat.

Since the houses were so narrow, the stairwells were too steep and narrow, making it largely impossible to carry up goods or furniture into the home. Thus beams were attached to the gables in order to hoist up (with a pulley and rope) large obj…

Ghost Signs in Amsterdam