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Three! Count ’em! Three!

Probe at a loft building in Brooklyn to find the size of the floor joists above. The contractor did exactly what I asked: he cut open the ceiling. Except…

The figured tin ceiling, which was the one I asked the contractor to remove, was the third ceiling in the space. If you look at the cut edges, you can see the wood furring strips used to attach it to the second ceiling, the dark brown one striped left to right. That second ceiling is hung on the 2×4 ceiling joists, a foot or so below the original plaster ceiling up at the top. The building is 160 years old, so there was plenty of time for those modifications over the years. The tin ceiling met the cast-iron column at the lowest ornament of the capital (the ring at the top of the part of the column painted white) so it wasn’t obvious that there was more of the capital hidden.

If we knew what we’d find, we wouldn’t need to investigate.