Volume 22, Number 38 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 29 - February 4, 2010
Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess
Streets around the Beekman Tower, above, were closed Monday after heavy winds blew debris off the building. The Brooklyn Bridge held up, but not all of its signs.
Tower debris shuts down Downtown
Pieces of metal and plywood blew off the 76-story Beekman Tower during a windy storm Monday, damaging property and forcing street closures but not injuring anyone. Work on Forest City Ratner’s luxury apartment tower remained stopped Wednesday, and the city Buildings Dept. issued contractor Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Company a violation for failing to protect persons and property.
The street closures stretching from Chambers St. to Ann St. and Church St. to Gold and Centre Sts. paralyzed Lower Manhattan’s street grid and caused Pace University to cancel classes. The city prevented people from walking near the tower and told people in the affected area to stay indoors.
Joyce Baumgarten, a Ratner spokesperson, said Monday’s high winds dislodged some of the metal screws that hold the building’s orange construction netting in place. Some of the screws, which are 6 to 8 inches long, popped off high floors of the building and fell to the streets below, Baumgarten said. She said the contractor would find a better way to secure the netting.
Borough President Scott Stringer sent a letter to the contractor calling the incident “unacceptable” and inviting a representative to meet with Community Board 1. The contractor referred comment to Ratner.