Crumbling Facade Leads to Violation


New York City Building officials have issued a violation after a section of a 35-story building façade crumbled, sending hundreds of bricks tumbling to the ground below Monday (Dec. 7) evening.

No one was seriously injured in the incident that occurred around 10 p.m. in the Upper East Side.

Local reports say roads and sidewalks in the vicinity were closed.

Witnesses described the scene as a “hail storm of bricks,” and images and video show brick fragments scattered about the roadway. At least one yellow cab’s back glass was damaged by the falling debris, a local ABC affiliate reported.

Officials say the building is currently being renovated and scaffolding was in place at the time. Damage estimates have not been reported.

Less than a month ago, officials pressed charges against an engineer who declared another building's facade was "safe" prior to part of it falling off and killing a toddler in May. (Read more: NYC: Engineer Lied on Inspection Report.)

Violation, Repairs

In the current case, authorities have said “some sort of repointing accident sent the bricks tumbling,” however, an official cause has not yet been reported, according to NBC New York. The city’s Department of Buildings is investigating.

So far, the Department of Buildings has issued the contractor in charge of the renovation, Quality Building Construction, of Long Island City, a violation for failing to safeguard the site, according to ABC7NY.

Quality Building Construction has reportedly began working on the façade repair and stabilization Tuesday.

Repair plans include putting up protective netting beneath the damaged 10x10 foot section of wall, according to the TV station.

Contractor Statement

The company did not immediately respond Wednesday (Dec. 9) to D+D News request for comment; however, the company has issued a statement to other media.

“What happened had nothing to do with the exterior work being done by Quality on the other sides of the building,” the contractor told ABC7NY in a statement.

“Quality was not doing any exterior work on the south side where the section of the wall fell. Quality only performed exterior work on the other sides of the building which was totally unrelated to the side of the building where the bricks came down.”

The company further noted it had necessary permits and documents required for the project.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Brick; Building facades; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Health and safety; Maintenance + Renovation; Maintenance programs; North America; Renovation

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