Four Fun Urban Projects: Mapping the Manhattan Project, A Year of London Door Numbers, Wooden House Project, Empty Parisian Pools

A door number in London. Source: London1to365.

A door number in London. Source: London1to365.

This week, four quirky urban projects caught our attention, from photographing door numbers in London for each day of the year, mapping the Manhattan Project, showcasing wooden houses in Brooklyn, to photography of empty Parisian pools.

Mapping the Manhattan Project

Where did the Manhattan Project actually take place in New York? Yesterday CurbedNY shared a map locating secret buildings used by the Manhattan Project. Buildings include The Woolworth BuildingThe Cunard Building and the New York Buddhist Church. The Atomic Heritage Foundation joined with Carnegie Corporation of NY to highlight the buildings that were part of the top secret operation during WWII. These locations also appeared in Cynthia C. Kelly and Robert S. Norris’s book, Guide to the Manhattan Project in Manhattan, published by Atomic Heritage Foundation in 2012. The website shares the information in a timeline with other resources.

Source: Perspectives on International Security Manhattan Project

Madison Square Engineers Office on East 29th street. Source: Perspectives on International Security Manhattan Project 

London 1 to 365

Photographer Roger Dean has come up with a new way to keep track of the calendar year: take close-ups of door numbers in London. On January 1, 2013 Dean photographed his first door number: a smooth stone carving of, “NO.1”. He posted the photograph on his wordless blog called London1to365. Now nearing the end of the summer, Dean has added over two hundred door numbers. Each one bears a unique style from carved-in to spray-painted to hand-drawn with chalk. The blog is infinite scrolling as it counts down to Dean’s first day.

Source: London1to365

Door number 19. Source: London1to365

The Wooden House Project

Source: The Wooden House Project

An image of wooden houses in 1925. Source: The Wooden House Project

In Brooklyn, brownstones are not the only historic homes to be respected. Writer and urban historian Elizabeth Finkelstein spoke with Urban Omnibus about The Wooden House Project, her initiative and blog to highlight the significance of present wooden houses in Brooklyn. “Legally [since the 19th century], you can not build a wooden house in the city anymore and that makes them special,” Finkelstein remarks. Her website offers tours of South Slope to view the wooden houses and other resources.

A Series of Empty Parisian Pools

Ever floated in a pool, eyes closed and imagined everyone disappeared? Franck Bohot created a similar meditative atmosphere in his photographs. He found architecturally striking pools and photographed them empty. In each image the ceilings stretch like wide planes over the pools while, the walls seem as if they have stepped back from the water. Bohot hopes to display his work in an empty pool, perhaps like the one in Stattbad? More of his images also appear in our recent article inspired by Piscine Molitor in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

 Manhattan Project, Wooden House Project, woolworth building

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