Brick brigade underlies the New Hampshire town’s center

There is a great mismatch between the force of the force with which construction workers are using the bricks and the force with which the stone is being moved along the pavement by the…

Brick brigade underlies the New Hampshire town’s center

There is a great mismatch between the force of the force with which construction workers are using the bricks and the force with which the stone is being moved along the pavement by the trucks. The force of the bricks is approximately equal to the force of the momentum applied by the vehicles.

There are four workers on the sidewalk in front of the store directly in front of the sidewalk. Four. This is correct. They are part of the brick brigade, and four is the correct number of bricks to be placed every two feet. Where the bricks are placed is not the effective work area—it is within the protected space. The four workers will bring the bricks to the level of the workers on the sidewalk, and the workers will be able to move bricks with great efficiency.

The bricks were jammed together and put on the sidewalk on a rail, which holds them in place. When the brick brigade arrives, it pushes and moves bricks on a beam that sits on the sidewalk. Every two feet or so, four bricks are pushed and shifted along the footpath as they are pushed by these four workers. However, the stones are pushed and shifted by four workers pushing from behind.

Crowns mounted on its façade are not exposed to the wind. There is a wall of dust on the pavement, but there is no protective device. I do not believe that placing a barrier between the bricks and the stones would be safe, since when the brick brigade pushes them there is also the possibility of stepping on them—or something very similar.

This picture shows the workers making a handhold on the sidewalk. They are running the bricks on a rail, and it takes a lot of effort to move those bricks to their level of work, according to how fast they can get them moving. When this picture was taken, three stone companies—Euro Casuals, Mosaic and Punter Associates—were working in the vicinity. But some of the men or women were climbing onto the platforms, and the brick brigade was moving at a more leisurely pace. I did not see any container of protection.

All the bricks that were moved were placed close to the public space. The bricks where not moved were placed by machines with specially designed steel casings. The brick is closer to the floor than to the sidewalk. This photograph is of brick work happening during the midweek, when there are fewer workers on the street.

Truly the main level of the building is a total work area and the sidewalk is a temporary barrier. The workers are only part of the job, and the work done on the bricks is mostly done by a man or woman standing behind the four workers, pushing the bricks forward with his feet. He is not protecting the bricks by motion of his hands, but pushing them forward with his feet. And the bricks are not thrown—he is pushing them forward with his feet.

This situation shows us a paradox: You have to use bricks in this task, but you cannot throw bricks, because throwing bricks would destroy the bricks. And it is true, though, that safety is impossible when we are moving bricks down a ramp.

Crowns are not protected, and the brick brigade cannot reach them by any other means.

J. Bogoian is professor and chair of urban geography at Columbia University’s Graduate Center for International and Public Affairs. His new book is “The Capitol: A History of the Building and Its Place in American History.” This article originally appeared on Arc magazine and was reprinted by Big Think.

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