Architecture & History

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In his 1986 book A Concrete Atlantis, the late architectural writer Reyner Banhamdescribed the United Shoe Machinery Corporation (USM) structure in Beverly, Massachusetts as a concrete-framed factory in its canonical form "a work of crushing self-assurance. Its absence from the general literature on the history of modern architecture is a reproach to scholarship," he added.Banham also described Beverly as "that ultimate masterpiece of [engineer Ernest L.] Ransome's declining years." Ransome, known worldwide for his then revolutionary technology, himself authored a book, Reinforced Concrete Buildings, with co-author Alexis Saurbrey in 1912, published in New York City by McGraw-Hill.Cummings Center, the former USM site, is today a massive complex of Ransome's renovated commercial buildings and landscape features on a 74-acre site near Beverly's downtown business district. Construction of the original plant began in 1904…
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