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Concrete Floods Le Parker Meridien Hotel Lobby

By DNAinfo Staff on April 18, 2012 1:01pm  | Updated on April 18, 2012 4:32pm

Concrete flows into the lobby of the Parker Meridien Hotel on West 56th Street on April 18, 2012.
Concrete flows into the lobby of the Parker Meridien Hotel on West 56th Street on April 18, 2012.
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Foursquare/Bernard G.

By Serena Solomon and Tom Liddy

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — Drinks weren't the only things flowing at Le Parker Meridien.

A lava flow of concrete poured into the tony Midtown hotel following a construction accident at a site next door Wednesday morning, according to witnesses and authorities.

Workers said that they were pouring concrete at a site, managed by Hunter Roberts Construction, next to the famed hotel at 119 W. 56th St. just before 11:40 a.m. when it began oozing onto the granite and marble floor of the chi chi cafe The Knave.

“Due to construction next door, the wall in Knave, our espresso bar was broken through," said Steven Pipes, president of the Jack Parker Corporation, which owns and manages the hotel.

The marble lobby of Le Parker Meridien Hotel, New York.
The marble lobby of Le Parker Meridien Hotel, New York.
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Le Parker Meridien website

"It was contained in Knave and nothing reached the main lobby of the hotel. Fortunately nobody was injured and FDNY was called into action immediately.”

It was not immediately clear if anyone was inside the eatery at the time.

According to the Department of Buildings, workers were pouring concrete for the fifth floor of a planned hotel 29-story hotel, the Willow, when the wooden mold broke, sending the wet mixture cascading into the Parker Meridien.

A spokesman for the DOB said the agency was investigating whether the mold, known as "form work," was "constructed properly."

A stop work order Wednesday for the site, at 120 W. 57th St., for failing to safeguard persons and property.

"Concrete from work blew out to adjacent hotel lobby into 118 West 57th St," the record, on the DOB Web site reads.

A partial stop work order was issued to the concrete contractor, DiFama, the day before for using a crane whose operator had an expired license, according to DOB records.

A worker for DiFama died in 2008 after falling from the 42nd floor of the Trump SoHo, according to the New York Times.

And the site has four open Environmental Control Board violations ranging from failing to safeguard persons and property affected by construction operations to scaffolding issues, DOB records show.

"Apparently there was too much concrete, it broke the old wall into this building" pointing "It just started flowing in to the lobby. It's just a big mess."

The 133,000 square foot Willow Hotel will have 250 guest rooms, according to Hunter Robert's site, when it is completed at the end of this year. It will also include a new Con Ed vault, full pool and spa, fitness center and rooftop event space as well as loft-like windows.

The incident comes just months after hotel guest complained about bone-rattling construction at the site, which was so strong that it made the espresso spoons at the Knave rattle

Staffers told DNAinfo at the time that the noise from the construction next door caused migraines and sent customers scurrying.

After the incident Wednesday, workers could be seen hauling wheelbarrows full of concrete from the lobby into the street and hosing down the floor.

"Things happen. I’m just glad no one got hurt," said Jamaal Finkley, a journalist in town for the Tribeca Film Festival. "It makes you feel kinda lucky that you were not in the area."

Finkley, who was staying at the hotel for one night, called the Knave "a real classy place."

"It's real dim and intimate," he added.

The Knave's Web site says that it is "Sacrilege! To Venture anywhere else for coffee"

"Baristas? Masters using the finest counter culture beans," the description reads.

Guests at the eatery, which boasts richly upholstered furniture and ornate chandeliers, can sip on "diabolically delicious" cocktails and nosh on "the best croissant, delicate, yet satisfying sandwiches, fine nibbles for the soirée,"

Hunter Roberts, Di Fama and the owner of the site, AREP Fity Seventh LLC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.