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Thread: 57 Reade Street - 281 Broadway - 20 story tower (TriBeCa) - By SLCE

  1. #61
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    In this ^ Bloomberg is a pure Republican:

    Underfund the regulatory branches of agencies and let the regulations die by default.

    And thereby do an end run around legislation.

    This is the businessman's idea of laissez faire ecoomics: Damn the people and the laws enacted to protect their interests.

  2. #62


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    If the landmarked building does come down, they should make the developer erect an exact replica in its place....
    I agree.

  3. #63


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    There should be very stiff penalties when a developer / builder causes harm to neighboring buildings -- particularly if the buildings affected are Landmarked structures.
    You realize that just having the stop order and having this building leaning will cost the developer millions. No developer/contractor would ever want this to happen and there is no evidence of wrongdoing or negligence as you quickly assume here. The leaning building is over 125 years old and also in bad shape because of its own owners. This is construction and even with every honest precaution made, nothing is ever guaranteed to work as planned.

  4. #64
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    All the more reason that every precaution should have been taken before hand.

    Intersting that NOW -- after the fact -- the developer comes up with a viable underpinning plan to protect and stabilize the old cast iron building.

    Why not before?

    Guess the Buck gang had their fingers crossed.

    They gambled. We lose.

    This building site sits just a couple of blocks from what, a mere 200 years ago, was a 48 acre pond with various streams leading from it to the Hudson -- since filled in and built over. Doesn't seem that it takes a genius to realize that the ground down below might be less than stable and in need of extra attention.

    Unless of course a few players here would rather that the little 5-story cast iron thing weren't around to get in the way of other plans.

    Naaahhh -- Who would benefit from that?

  5. #65


    Of course the developer didn't want this to happen, but that doesn't mean sufficient precautions were taken to reduce the possibility.

    It's probably true that in the majority of similar situations, do nothing and nothing happens. Sort of like driving without seatbelts.

    The owner of the building may share any blame for not getting involved in protecting his property. Maybe he wants to unload it.

    A few blocks away at the 85 West Broadway hotel:I know the owner of the building next door on Chambers. The developer's engineers did extensive testing on his property - they told him that he had a sub-basement he was never aware of. Interior and exterior supports and bracing were installed, along with monitoring equipment. They met with him several times and rechecked the condition of the foundation while the hotel site was excavated.

  6. #66
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    And one should consider why the owner of a landmarked building sitting in the middle of a now-hot real estate market would let that building essentially go to hell through a practice of neglect and deferred maintenance. Particularly an owner who, according to the Tribeca Trib article and various web searches, has some nice deep pockets.

  7. #67
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton

    Default The long story -

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post

    This building site sits just a couple of blocks from what, a mere 200 years ago, was a 48 acre pond with various streams leading from it to the Hudson -- since filled in and built over.
    I'm showing this portion of the 'ancient topography' map because my Photoshop died when my old hard drive broke. (wah!) The Collect is actually one full block away (as the crow flies) from the construction site. However, the site of Chambers/Duane and Broadway has pretty good building land. It looks like it was on the slope of a little hill that was smashed down, so there is probably a certain amount of landfill involved.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #68


    Solution Sought For Leaning Building

    By Carl Glassman

    Two months after the city deemed the leaning landmark building at 287 Broadway unsafe to occupy, its residents and small business owners still could not return, and a way to ensure its safety had yet to be approved.
    On Jan. 31, engineers for the developer of a new high-rise next door, where the demoliton and excavation on the adjoining lot led to the dangerous tilting, submitted a revised report to the Department of Buildings on the condition of the structure.

    In an e-mail to the Trib, DOB spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said an earlier engineering report was “deficient” in its wind load, soil and structural analysis of the now free-standing building.

    “The developer’s engineer must demonstrate that all variables have been considered,” she said of the report, which the DOB must approve before the developer can permanently shore the building.

    The Chicago-based developer, the John Buck Company, did not return calls requesting comment.

    A Nov. 29 inspection found that the 1872 cast iron building, at the southwest corner of Broadway and Reade Street, was leaning nine inches to the south.

    The developer, whose new 20-story building will wrap around the landmark to Reade Street, had erected a temporary wooden structure that must be replaced with steel.

    Some residents have moved out for good; others have found temporary housing elsewhere but remain in the dark about how long it will be before they can return, if ever.

    “Everyone has settled into limbo,” said one tenant, who asked not to be identified. “What’s frustrating is that no one seems to know the plan to fix the situation.”

    Kenneth Dubow, property manager for the owners, Century Realty, said he is as much in the dark as the tenants, and shares their frustration. “I’m not getting the answers I want, because there are so many unknowns,” he said, adding that he is confident that the Buildings Department is doing all it can.

    Learning from management that he had a brief opportunity to move his possessions to safer ground, Joe Horovitz and some friends last month were carrying a couch, projector screen, computers and chairs down the narrow, dark stairway and into a rented van.

    “At first they told us it would be a two-week thing,” said Horovitz, 25, a venture capitalist who has lived in the building for three years. “Now here I am with hardly any notice emptying my stuff out. I don’t expect to be coming back.”

    Across the hall, another tenant, who asked that her name not be used, was also moving out. Century Realty had found her an apartment in another of its Lower Manhattan properties. She recalled the intense vibrations the building suffered during the excavation. “When I set down a glass it would start shaking,” she said. “I felt like I was in a boat.”

    The tenant said the developer should shoulder most of the blame, but she faulted the owners for being unresponsive to her concerns.

    “I called the landlord about the cracks that appeared in my walls, and they came in and put drywall over them, but didn’t do anything else about it.”
    Dubow called such claims “offensive.”

    “There are cracks and there are cracks,” he said. “The Buildings Department engineers said everything was [fine] until it wasn’t fine and then they took appropriate action.”

    With no electricity in the building, movers had strung extension wires and worklights up the long stairways to help them as they moved the tenants out. All around were signs of disrepair. A loosely attached banister, holes in the ceiling, flaking paint on walls and ceilings, torn, dusty linoleum floors.

    In a vacant apartment downstairs, the Buildings Department had installed a meter to track the widening of an imposing crack in the western wall.

    Meanwhile, the vacated commercial spaces on the ground floor remain suspended in time. “Thank you and see you soon!!!” says a note of apology on the window of the shuttered shoe repair shop, whose owner, Luis Guaman, is now desperate to return to work. (See story, page 4.) Christmas decorations adorn the pizza shop next door that had just opened six month before.

    “They destroyed the business,” said David Jaroslawicz, lawyer for the owner, the Yenem Corp. Jaroslawicz said it is unlikely that his client, who had installed all new kitchen equipment and heating and air conditioning in the space, can recoup the losses, which he estimates to be $2.5 million, including the value of a favorable lease. Jaroslawicz is suing the John Buck Company, but said a settlement could be years away.

    In the meantime, he doubts the building will ever be safe to inhabit again, adding that he believes it may be a disaster waiting to happen.

    “You got a building leaning over that you know has been structurally undermined,” he said. “How do you permit the street not to be closed?”

    According to the Department of Buildings, located across Broadway from the tilting landmark, monitors have not measured “significant” movement since the structure was vacated and does not present a danger. The DOB’s spokeswoman said that the building had settled three to four inches before excavation began, and tilted another three to four inches from the excavation.

    A source at Hunter-Atlantic, the Manhattan-based company that performed the excavation, said its work was “on the up and up.” The source, who asked not to be identified, said his engineer’s plans for underpinning the building had been approved by the city. “But because the soil didn’t react the way we thought it would we stopped it.” He said another contractor for the owner tried grouting, or compacting the soil underneath the foundation.

    “It didn’t work,” he said. “The building continued to move.”

    As for the reason that it is tilting? “It’s hard to say what’s destabilized a building that old,” he said. “It never had to stand on its own in its life.”

    Copyright 2008 The Tribeca Tribune

  9. #69


    This isn't good, and that building being so narrow with only 3 bays width is probably going to be more of a risk of falling over than one that is wider but I can't say for sure.
    That wood prop deal looks jury rigged and is not a good solution, but the amount of lateral force applied to it is not that great.
    One thing with wood used like that is it will expand and contract as well as individual pieces warp and twisting in the sun/rain and from drying out, none of that movement is good when it's used to brace something that should NOT be moving around like a brick wall.

    An issue with steel is the weight, the weight of heavy steel leaning at an angle against the brick wall could exceed the lateral force from the building's tilt, in which case the weight of the steel could push it over the other way, or just push through that wall like a slow battering ram.

    Question is, how would one even calculate what that tilt's lateral force IS? I'm sure it can be done.
    If that figure is calculated then the strength of the brick wall per square foot would have to be taken into account as well, and that could vary a lot, it would be a case where the lateral force against the wood or steel props is greater than the pressure points of that wall that are actually in contact with the props, as the brick wall is never perfectly flat and smooth it stands to reason that the contact portions are small- down to individual bricks in a given area no doubt.
    If the lateral force is greater than the strength/integrity of the wall at the contact pressure points, then the wall can move out while leaving the sections in contact still there until the wall collapses. It would be like poking holes through the wall with a battering ram, only slower.

  10. #70

    Default 287 Broadway. Leaning Tower.

    Slideshow from The New York Times.

  11. #71


    Here's a screen cap from a little video clip I saw of a building collapse in Manilla.
    Seems this new apartment building went up and didn't have a good foundation, and after a while it started to lean but it moved slowly at first and gave signs and it was evacuated.
    While the evacuees waited in the street it collapsed across the street hitting the building on the other side and the crumbling into a mess of debris as it fell apart.
    Once it started moving that was it, nothing was going to stop it.

    Truly surreal seeing this big masonry "box" just fall over and break up.

    It took out some high voltage power lines when it fell too.
    Here's the link to the full clip;
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #72


    I just happened by this building yesterday morniong on my way to jury duty. I was approaching from the west, coming up the north side of Reade and soon noticed this building was clearly out of plumb. As I drew closer and saw the empty construciton site adjacent to it, and then the framework bracing it from the excavation side, I immediately knew whatwas going on. When I got home and googled it this thread came up as one of the first hits.

    As an architect I have to laugh at the engineer claiming "the soil didn't behave as we predicted"- not that it would be funny if there was a collapse. And his preposterous assertion that "this building never had to stand on its own in its life"!!! WTF!? It's no wonder there have been so many accidents with geniuses like this guy on the loose.

    I agree that the developer should be held 100% responsible, and that everyone is compensated fully.

  13. #73
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Whacha doing googling when you should have came here first?

    You know anything involving buildings in this city, this is the place to go.

    By the way, they have added more, stronger, steel bracing (as opposed to wooden ones earlier)...


  14. #74
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I can see Stuy Town

    Default 57 Reade back on track?

    Daily Activities

    The following information was last updated on August 5, 2008.

    • A partial stop work order has been issued due to an underpinning issue at 287 Broadway. It is currently being resolved.
    • Foundation work is expected to resume following a redesign.
    • Drilled piles began July 15 and will continue through October 2008

  15. #75
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    A Year Later, Downtown Landmark Still Languishes

    By Carl Glassman
    DECEMBER 1, 2008

    There is a picture of Santa in the pizza shop window at Broadway and Reade Street, and along a row of tables lies a strand of tinsel. Not unusual for this time of year. But these decorations were meant for last year’s holiday, the one that never came to 287 Broadway.

    Time stands still in the building, a 1872 cast iron landmark that housed the pizza store, shoe repair and photo shops and several tenants upstairs. On Nov. 29, 2007, the Department of Buildings slapped vacate orders on the windows and abruptly emptied the building of its workers and tenants. The structure, an inspection showed, was shifting southward and the city feared that it would collapse.

    Excavation work for a new 20-story residential building that would wrap around 287 Broadway to Reade Street is blamed for destabilizing the building. A stop-work order has largely halted construction there for more than a year.

    Hunter-Atlantic, working for the developer John Buck Company, erected steel bracing on 287 Broadway to prevent further tipping and today, more than half a year since the foundation for the new building was to be completed, the site remains a deep, quiet pit.

    The activity now is in court.

    “Everyone is blaming the other for what caused the problem and no one wants to step forward to offer to compensate [my client],” said David Jaroslawicz, lawyer for the owner of the pizza store, the Yenem Corp., who is suing the developer and the excavation company, Hunter-Atlantic.

    Luis Guaman, who owns the shoe repair shop next door, is still out of work. He has yet to be compensated for his equipment that was destroyed by a frozen pipe that burst, he said, and he is on the brink of defaulting on the mortgage on his Queens home.

    “My father is really depressed. He can’t think of anything but his work,” said his daughter, Sugeydi, who speaks for Guaman because of his limited English. “He comes into Manhattan every day, goes around to check for stores.”

    Guaman’s lawyer, Richard Marx, has yet to bring a suit on his client’s behalf. His only comment to the Trib was to say that he intends to join in the action against the developer taken by the pizza store.

    “We’re about to commence a suit,” he said.

    Cora Cohen, an artist who has lived in the building since 1972 at below-market rent that is protected by the city’s Loft Law, is one of two residential tenants suing the building’s owner, the Randall Co. That company is an affiliate of Cortland Realty Co., the real estate arm of the Gindi family, owners of Century 21 Department Store.

    Cohen is in housing court with claims that the landlord is dragging its feet in working with the developer to come up with a plan to make the building safe so that Cohen can return home.

    In her suit, she claims the owner “intentionally and/or negligently” has failed to do what is needed on their part towards permanently shoring the building and making it habitable.

    “There’s not clarity about whether the owner is opposing or cooperating with the developer,” said Cohen’s lawyer, Arlene Boop. A hearing was scheduled for Dec. 1 to demand from the landlord a “date certain” for Cohen’s return to the building, Boop said.

    In the meantime, Cohen’s landlord and the developer next door are suing each other, with claims by Randall that the developer was negligent and the developer charging that the foundation was already in a weakened state.

    The John Buck Company also maintains that it is the fault of the excavator Hunter-Atlantic who, in turn, blames five different subcontractors.

    “This is going to take years of litigation. Lawyers are going to bill a lot of hours,” Abraham Jaros, partner in the firm representing the pizza store, argued in court earlier this year in an unsuccessful plea for a hastened decision. “We, however, as the innocent plaintiff, should not be in the middle of this.”

    Representatives of Randall Co., John Buck Co. and Hunter-Atlantic did not return calls for comment.

    It is not clear what is required to happen before the Department of Buildings lifts its vacate order on 287 Broadway, or a partial stop-work order on the residential building next door. On Nov. 19, the Trib submitted several questions to the Department of Buildings about the fate of 287 Broadway as well as results of recent inspections of the building, if any, that measures further movement of the building. By press time on Dec. 1 there still had been no response.

    According to Boop, the new building is expected to have risen to the 6th floor by next June, providing 287 Broadway with permanent support.

    Designated a landmark in 1988, 287 Broadway is one of the city’s few surviving examples of cast iron Italianate and French Second Empire architecture. Its large arched windows provide extraordinary light.

    That was something that drew Cora Cohen to the sixth-floor loft she rented in 1972.

    Does she believe she will ever get to return to it?

    “I think, if I live long enough,” she replied.

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