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2-Year-Old Girl Dies After Being Hit by Falling Bricks on Upper West Side

By  Rebeca Ibarra Emily Frost and Murray Weiss | May 18, 2015 7:49am | Updated on May 18, 2015 2:09pm

 Bricks from The Esplanade senior residence fell on Greta Greene, 2, Sunday. She died of her injuries Monday. 
Greta Greene
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UPPER WEST SIDE — A 2-year-old girl died a day after suffering critical injuries when bricks from a West End Avenue senior center fell and struck her in the head along with her grandmother, police sources said.

The child, Greta Greene, died at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital Monday, police sources said.

The girl was in a stroller with her grandmother Susan Frierson on a bench in front of The Esplanade, at 305 West End Ave. near 74th Street, about 11 a.m. when part of a window ledge from the eighth floor fell onto them, NYPD and a Department of Buildings spokesmen said.

The child was knocked unconscious and nurses rushed out from the senior home to give her CPR, police said.

Doctors performed surgery on Greta at the hospital, while her grandmother was treated for minor injuries to her wrists and ankles, police said.

The Department of Buildings hit The Esplanade with a violation for failure to maintain the facade, according to a DOB spokesman. The violation carries a fine of between $1,000 and $25,000, he said. 

The 92-year-old landmarked building was not undergoing any construction or facade work and there was no protective scaffolding or sidewalk shed erected in front of the building at the time of the incident Sunday morning, the DOB spokesman said.  

Workers from the department began erecting scaffolding and the sidewalk shed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday "to protect pedestrians," he said. 

The DOB was still investigating the scene Monday morning, the spokesman added. 

The agency is also investigating whether any work was done on the building by the owners without the department's knowledge, a police source said. 

Police said they were not investigating the incident as a criminal matter. 

Neighbors identified her parents as Stacy and Jayson Greene, calling them a "strong and wonderful family," said Veronica Price, 37, a neighbor living in their Kensington, Brooklyn, apartment building.

The building is tight-knit, and all of the families know each other, she added.

Greta's name was etched on the front sidewalk alongside the names of other children from the building, with part of the etching still visible Monday.

“Greta is a very lovely and sunny kid," Price said.

City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side district where the Esplanade is located, said she's waiting on information from the DOB.

"Our hearts are full for the family," she said. "I’m anxioulsy awaiting the DOB report."

The Scharf family, which owns and manages The Esplanade, issued a statement Monday.

"The entire Scharf family is heartbroken by this tragedy," it read. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Greta Greene's family."

The owners are cooperating with the DOB "to determine  the cause of this horrible incident and to safeguard the public," the statement said. 

They declined to comment on when the last restoration work was done on the facade. 

Greta's grandmother, Susan Frierson, posted on her Facebook page about babysitting the child and hosting the 2-year-old for her first overnight at Frierson's apartment. She also posted photos of Greta napping with her dog, as well as shot of the two together.

She called Greta "the best thing in my life" in one post. 

"Only a love like the one I have for my granddaughter, Greta Greene, would get me to do what I am about to do! Heading to The Disney Store in Times Square - wish me luck," she posted on April 26.

— With additional reporting by Aidan Gardiner