Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Building collapse shuts down Metro North

Metro-North Service Suspended After Building Collapse

By Sewell Chan, NY Times

Service on all three of the Metro-North Railroad’s lines — the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines — was suspended at 3:15 p.m. after a vacant building collapsed at 124th Street and Park Avenue, one block from the 125th Street station in Harlem, where all three lines stop on their way to and from Grand Central Terminal. An untold number of trains and passengers were left waiting for service to resume. Passengers on trains at stations were told to leave and find alternative means of travel.

There were no reports of any injuries. A wall of the building, at 102 East 124th Street, collapsed around 1 p.m., and after city workers responded to the scene, the rest of the building fell, officials said. The stability of an adjacent vacant building, at 100 East 124th Street, has been compromised, and the building will be demolished imminently as a precaution, officials said.

According to property records, both properties are owned by Kushner Companies, a property management firm based in Manhattan and Florham Park, N.J. Jared C. Kushner, a principal of the firm, is the owner and publisher of The New York Observer.

The Police and Fire Departments directed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to suspend service, out of concern that the vibrations of the moving trains could lead to further damage, M.T.A. officials said.

Consolidated Edison has cut power to the site and the Department of Environmental Protection has cut water to the site.

Northbound traffic on the east side of Park Avenue from 123rd to 125th has been suspended, as has traffic on East 124th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.

“They don’t want rumbling to weaken the parts of the building that are still standing,” said Marjorie S. Anders, a Metro-North spokeswoman. “So far we don’t have any debris on the tracks but I’ve been told if the building collapses further, we might.”

Passengers on what was to have been the 3:10 p.m. Hudson Line train reported heard announcements directing them to leave the train and find alternative means of travel.

Kevin Flynn contributed reporting.

Photo from NY Sun


Anonymous said...

Ha. Ha-Ha. uahahahahah. (and even more stupid evil laugher) wahahahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Once again, too little too late. Wake-up Commissioner.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a bombed out building in a war torn country.

Anonymous said...

A permit was issued on 1/31/2008 to:



Professionally Certified by ALPHA ENGINEERING & INSP. P.C.

I hereby state that I have exercised a professional standard of care in certifying that the filed application is complete and in accordance with applicable laws, including the rules of the Department of Buildings . . . .

By the way, the most recent documents are now available to see on the DOB website. They actually have been scanned in.

Some interesting comments:

Howard J. Rubenstein, a spokesman for Jared Kushner, said the company had planned to demolish the buildings and intended to go through with the work starting at 7 p.m. this evening.

But, there are no permits for demolition.

“The buildings had been vacant for about six months, and the company had initially intended to rehabilitate the buildings,” Mr. Rubenstein said. “Two days ago, bricks started to fall from the building. Kushner sent engineers down, and they determined that both buildings were not stable, were not safe. And they contacted the Department of Buildings seeking permission to demolish both buildings, starting tomorrow. The Department of Buildings and the Fire Department sent people to the scene immediately, and while they were there, the building collapsed.”

Mr. Rubenstein quoted Mr. Kushner as saying: “Thank goodness no one was hurt. It’s quite unfortunate that this tremendous inconvenience was caused.”

Yeah, right!

Anonymous said...


Sounds like putting a band-aid on a terminal cancer patient.

dave in milwaukee said...

This looks like the same building, circa 1985-1990. Anybody know for sure?


Jason in Kew Gardens said...

The building that partially collapsed is 5 stories. The building in this link is 4 stories.

jerry rotondi said...

I was catching a northbound
east side subway train at Canal Street yesterday
at about 4:30 PM,
when I heard an announcement
that the commuter rail service between
Grand Central and 125th Street had been suspended
due to "activity on the street".

When I exited at Grand Central Terminal,
I counted 6 broadcast news trucks
and a police presence that might have indicated
a terrorist incident.

I thought the immediate area was the focus.

Upon re-entering Grand Central to catch the #7,
I saw that the entire station was packed full
of Metro North commuters waiting for trains.

I had to squeeze through like a sardine
competing for a passage space .

It was only after my wife had asked a cop
about the problem that we learned
of the building collapse way up on 124th Street.

Maybe now that some powerful
Scarsdale, Bronxville, White Plains commuters
were affected ,
our ineffectual DOB will finally be taken
to the wood shed and taught to clean up their act!

But I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

(To the tune of "London Bridge"....
somebody give me an "A" please) .

"New York City's falling down....
falling down....falling down.

New York City's falling down....
my fair lady" (Lancaster) !

where's the improvement in the DOB
that its chief has been promising us ?

Harlem has been "overlooked" for years!

Why should the corrupt DOB pay it any mind.

It's all part of the plan folks.
Life up here is cheap as far as Mayor Mike & Co.
are concerned.

So what if a ton of bricks had killed a few "darkies"?

Yuppie-fication is on the way
(the savior of the day)
to "improve" this "blighted" area.

So it's urban renewal and Black removal time
once again in our class conscious city racist city.

Anonymous said...

11 of the 12 applications on this job are either pro cert or dir 14, self inspection or both. no liability for the city it's the professionals responsibility. of course with 17 complaints alerting the NYC DOB to dangerous problems, the dob sent out one of it's specially trained violation writing drones. dob and ecb violations served over and over again. did the inspector even know what the hell he was looking at? maybe if a few of the falling bricks hit the inspector in the head he would have called HPD and something would have been done. if there was a fire in that building and the floor gave way and hurt or killed a couple of NYC Fire Fighters then we can find a new scapegoat professional like Juan D. Vargas, PE.,. Or maybe Lancaster was covering again for another rich political friend of Tammany Hall?

Anonymous said...

While we focus on possible terrorist attacks, we neglect other serious imminent threats. Threats that we know too well could kill and mame many and paralyze the City. This recent building collapse should be a wakeup call that does not go unheeded.

Why not call upon the military and any other government agencies available to us, to help the DOB before a catastrophic accident happens?

Their staff of experts, architects and engineers could be enlisted to, first and foremost, protect the public. They could be utilized to sniff out unstable buildings and retaining walls, review architectural plans at the job sites making sure that they coincide with what is actually being built, inspect scaffolding, observe demolitions, police shutdown job sites, and ensure that required safety supervisors are on site.

No doubt they could lend a hand with respect to curtailing construction worker injuries, deaths and related issues.