The Birth of the Cool

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2011 at 7:49 am

Visiting my son Paul Cox in Brooklyn this weekend, I had a chance to visit a large building that once housed the Sackett and Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company — the site of the world’s first modern air-conditioning system, installed in 1902. You can read the story of this site that changed history in Paul’s piece for BushwickBK from last year.

The exterior

In the basement area where Willis Carrier’s air-conditioning system had been located. No, that’s not it; it’s apparently a fire pump.

Rectangular holes like the one in this ‘chimney’, now blocked up,  fed sheet-metal ducts that carried cool air through the building. This was ‘process’ air-conditioning, used to improve the printing environment. The first ‘comfort’ air-conditioning system was installed soon after at the New York Stock Exchange.

  Let’s check out the roof. That ‘alarm’ sign? Don’t worry about that!

View toward Queens from the roof

The elevator shaft

Time to clear out.


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