They don’t make them like they used to — especially when it comes to turn-of-the-century and post-WWI era infrastructure. Rising in major metropolitan cities to support a significant increase in U.S. production and consumption during the 1920s, these legacy buildings are quickly becoming today’s historical landmarks. Since they’re here to stay, it’s high time we get good at rehabilitating them.
Built prior to the advent of air conditioning, heavy mass buildings erected in the early twentieth century were naturally designed to deal with moisture, as they relied on natural ventilation (operable windows) to make their interiors habitable. Built with high-mass materials like brick, stone, and concrete, these buildings were able to absorb liquid water and water vapor slowly, manage the moisture, and dry to the inside and outside as needed.