432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, is many things: A billionaire magnet; a vessel for the world's fanciest bathroom; a dormitory for "maids." Oh, and a serious hazard for anyone walking near it.
Earlier today, we took a look at the very rational reasons that pieces of metal keep falling from Richard Rogers' new skyscraper in London. Meanwhile, back in New York, our own expensive new skyscraper -- this one designed by Rafael Viñoly, who you may remember from this reflective death-ray building -- is having its own struggles with gravity.
According to Crain's, work was suspended at the site this week after an 2.44m-long metal guard rail from a construction elevator fell from the building's 81st floor:
Work was halted on a luxury-condominium tower in midtown Manhattan after an 8-foot piece of guardrail from a construction elevator fell from the 81st floor to the street below.
Yikes! This must be the first time this has happened, right? Nope. Pix 11 explains:
In September, construction workers on the 80th floor were pouring concrete when the retaining wall "blew out" sending roughly "four yards" [3.65m] of concrete raining down on cars and property below.
In July, the site safety manager reported that a pair of wire clippers fell to the adjacent property, almost hitting a person, according to the DOB.
Aside from construction tools and materials, pedestrians have also contacted the city about the rocks and pebbles falling, presumably from the windblown heights of the upper floors.
Frankly, it's a miracle that no one has been hurt (or worse) from any of these incidents, which occurred on some of the busiest, most pedestrian-clogged streets in the city. Unfortunately, since the penalties for these violations only run between $US5000 and $US10,000, they can afford to keep taking risks. Here's hoping that when construction resumes -- Crain's says it will soon -- the developer and contractor will take safety more seriously. [Crain's New York; The Real Deal]