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Urban Disasters



The burning of Four Courts during the Battle of Dublin, 30 June 1922, beginning of the Irish Civil War. That is the bank of the River Liffey.

…and Other Fun Stuff

The city scene is often shaped by urban disasters—fires, storms and floods—and other more happy accidents. I had to manufacture one, for example, so that “100% corner” could be vacant when the time came in 1914 for the community’s first freestanding public library. Though the image above is a renowned European example, there are ample cases to draw on in middling American towns like Agincourt, such as the destruction shown here in Loraine, Ohio, of about the same time (June 1924) or an undated flood in Topeka, KS.

Undated flood, Topeka, KS

Tornado damage June 1924, Lorain, OH

Unidentified train wreck

Since other “random” events like this were bound to occur, do you think we should employ some instrument of chance? An Acts-of-God lottery driven by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Many of these things should simply be taken from my hands and left to a roll of the dice.

Candidates might include:

  • FIRE (lightening)
  • FIRE (accident)
  • FIRE (arson)

What have I overlooked?

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