Volume 22, Number 02 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 22 - 28, 2009

Demos for last two 9/11-damaged buildings approved

The two damaged towers looming over the World Trade Center site moved one step closer to disappearing last Friday when the city approved plans to demolish them.

The Deutsche Bank building and Fiterman Hall won’t start coming down immediately, but the approvals clear the way for contractors to get the permits they’ll need when they are ready.

At Fiterman Hall, a 15-story Borough of Manhattan Community College classroom building north of the site, preliminary deconstruction work is scheduled to start soon, and the building should be down by the end of October. At the much larger 26-story Deutsche Bank building near the south end, demolition is scheduled to start in the middle of July and finish by the middle of January.

The two buildings have little in common physically, but they were both contaminated on 9/11 by collapsing debris and have since faced a circuitous route to demolition. Both projects ground to a halt after a 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank building that killed two firefighters. The fire, which occurred while workers were simultaneously decontaminating and demolishing the building, resulted in more government oversight for both Deutsche and Fiterman.

One of the city’s conditions for resuming demolition at the Deutsche Bank building was that the contractors resolve all outstanding Buildings Dept. violations from before last December. Two months ago, there were 17 outstanding violations that needed to be resolved, many from now-defunct subcontractor John Galt Corp., but they are now all listed as paid and cleared up on the Buildings Dept. Web site.

Since the fire, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which owns the Deutsche Bank building, has shared more information about their plans with the community and held a public meeting on the demolition plan earlier this year. Along with the approved demolition plan, the L.M.D.C. posted responses to all the public comments on its Web site, renewnyc.com.

— Julie Shapiro








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