Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"The Glass House Disaster" has posted its third and final instalment describing the May 5, 1885 Glass House Disaster fire in Brooklyn, New York.  The 1886 zoning map below shows the missing buildings from Block 40 where the fire occurred.  The article partially describes the events as:

"On May 5th, 1885, a devastating building collapse and fire tore apart the industrial park located inside the blocks of Atlantic, Hicks, State and Columbia, down near the waterfront. A warren of interconnected factory buildings pressing into the backs of tenement buildings facing Atlantic Avenue came crashing down that May morning, as shoddy repairs to structural beams in the central building called the Glass House, could not stand up to the stresses on the old building, and it collapsed, bringing fire and horrible casualties with it."

The article then goes on to focus mostly on the criminal trials (or lack thereof) that followed.  It has an eerie forecasting of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire - almost 25 years later.

Jon Rosenbloom


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I thought I would share a comment I received via email, as it raises an important point:

"Hi Jonathan, I enjoyed your blog post today. I found Alito’s statement a continuation of a problematic trend. The last sentence – “It does bear mentioning, however, that ‘denial of certiorari does not constitute an expression of any opinion on the merits.’” – will become required language in cert. denials. But Alito’s statement is even more troubling because it actually DOES constitute (or at least forecast) an expression of an opinion (albeit a brief one) on the merits! If a dissent from the denial of cert. does so, fine…but a statement respecting denial of cert. seems to me a different element."

Posted by: Jonathan Rosenbloom | Mar 23, 2011 9:37:03 AM