ENGL 1101: Fire, Disease, Disaster: Catastrophe and the Shaping of Public Space

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    Elvio Gimenez
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    Once again our class visited the Brooklyn historical society building in search of answers. Together with professor Gold and the librarians we came up with methods of search. We brainstormed strategies of search that would make our process of finding answers easier, faster and more accurate. Our group in particular was left to the specific task of locating the Brooklyn theatre. We began by looking at the Brooklyn Atlas. In our search we noticed that together with answers, more questions flourished. One particular idea that came to our attention was the layout of buildings and structures. We left that thought in the back of our heads and we went back to the maps. We looked at maps form 20 years before and after and in our discussion of the theatre’s location, a controversial issue was whether the layout of the buildings had an effect on the fire or not. While some argue that the actual layout was not a variable directly responsible for the fire, others contended that if the building was designed in a more careful way, then the fire could have been prevented.

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