Beekman Tower Slapped by Buildings Chief for Failure to Heed Wind Warnings

By Test Reporter on January 26, 2010 9:37am | Updated on January 26, 2010 9:30am

The Office of Emergency Management advised Lower Manhattan residents to remain indoors after debris began falling from a 77-story construction site Monday.
The Office of Emergency Management advised Lower Manhattan residents to remain indoors after debris began falling from a 77-story construction site Monday.
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DNAinfo/Gabriela Resto-Montero

By Nina Mandell

DNAinfo Producer/Reporter

MANHATTAN — A stop-work order and two violations halted construction at the Beekman Tower Monday after debris came flying off the structure forcing street closures and residents to take cover.

Turnbuckles used by contractor Kreisler Borg Florman Construction to lash down plywood on the site started falling from developer Bruce Ratner's 72-story luxury apartment building designed by starchitect Frank Gehry during Monday morning's high-winds.

"This is a warning to all contractors that they must safeguard their sites in order to protect the public during inclement weather," Building Commissioner Robert LiMandri said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

The flying debris led to street closures in the City Hall area, led to the cancellation of classes at Pace University, the postponement of a schools protest outside City Hall and a ceremony inside to honor the work of a NYPD-FDNY urban rescue task force in Haiti.

As of Tuesday morning, Spruce, William, Beekman and Nassau Streets all remained blocked off one square block around the towers.

The Department of Buildings issued a high-wind warning on Sunday, urging contractors to secure their site because of the weather. But Beekman Tower contractors apparently failed to comply, resulting in flying debris that closed off a 15-block area on Monday, the department said.

The building received nine other violations over the past six months for failing to keep the area free of debris, and other housekeeping issues. But neighboring residents had complained numerous times to the Buildings Dept.'s Web site about falling debris, including pieces of metal sent airborne, but those charges weren't confirmed by the department.

The work site has received 44 complaints since December 2006.

The turnbuckles are hollow and about six to eight inches in length, according to Joyce Baumgarten, a spokesperson for Forest City Ratner. The gusts in the area loosened the turnbuckles, she said.

Pedestrians ignore sidewalk closures in Lower Manhattan Tuesday after high winds ripped debris from neighboring Beekman Tower.
Pedestrians ignore sidewalk closures in Lower Manhattan Tuesday after high winds ripped debris from neighboring Beekman Tower.
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DNAinfo/Nicole Bode

The FDNY said there were no reported injuries from the falling objects.

 

After high winds forced street closures in Lower Manhattan, a street sign for the Brooklyn Bridge lay in the grass in front of Tweed Courthouse.
After high winds forced street closures in Lower Manhattan, a street sign for the Brooklyn Bridge lay in the grass in front of Tweed Courthouse.
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DNAinfo/Nicole Bode

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