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Old July 26th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #41
Sentient Seas
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The other trade centers look better.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #42
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strange design, but original. although I think that this aera need more attention than the one given by this building.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #43
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/17/nyregion/17bank.html
Unbuilding a Skyscraper Wounded on Sept. 11


Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

David Emil, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, on the 26th floor of 130 Liberty Street.



Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, its windows replaced with plywood, is being dismantled.



On Sept. 11, 2001, the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan, was damaged by pieces of the World Trade Center. The building, seen here on July 17, is being dismantled. The plywood-enclosed area at the top of the building was in the process of undergoing abatement for asbestos and other hazardous contaminants.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



After abatement is completed, each floor of the building looks like this. The dismantling process represents the first complete removal of a building so large and so badly contaminated. Excessive levels of seven hazardous substances, including asbestos, dioxin, lead and chromium were measured in the building.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



Where windows were removed, plywood was inserted in place of glass.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



A mechanical excavator worked to break apart one of the building's concrete floors. Water was sprayed to hold down dust. The workers can dismantle one floor about every four days.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



Once the concrete slab and metal decking are removed, what remains is a steel skeleton of each floor.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



Steel beams that framed the horizontal structure of the building were cut away with torches.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



As more and more beams and columns are removed, what was once an enclosed building opens up to the sky.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



An internal staircase, which served as a fire exit, was one of the last remaining structures on the 27th floor.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



Once the interior stairs are removed, workers must reach the upper floors using these external stairways, which are built into scaffolding.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



A welder made a final cut to a beam, freeing up the last exterior bay remaining on the 27th floor.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



Two skid steer loaders pulled down the bay, which was already cut at the base of each column.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



As the loaders roared into reverse, the cables became taut and the bay began to topple. There was still enough resistance, however, that the front wheels of the loader on the right reared slightly into the air.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



Within seconds, the whole bay had toppled, landing on the floor slab with a large jolt.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



The same compact loader that pulled the wall down was used to cart away debris for removal by crane.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



A large container filled with debris, seen at left, was hoisted from the roof.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



The container was lowered to a staging area on the south side of Liberty Street.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times



An crane waited to unload the container.

Photo: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times


It is, Avi Schick said, like watching a video of a building being built, but in reverse.

Mr. Schick, the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, was walking through 130 Liberty Street, the building opposite ground zero that was gashed by pieces of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The building, the New York base of Deutsche Bank at the time, is now being dismantled.

That is different from being demolished. The building is being taken apart almost piece by piece, something demolition experts say has been done before.

What is a first is the complete removal of a building so large and so badly contaminated by hazardous substances. And it is happening under the wary eyes of regulators, neighbors and even the Wall Street types who will someday fill the building that is scheduled to take this one’s place.

So, day after day this summer, workers with acetylene torches are going floor by floor, slicing through the steel beams, the horizontal parts of the building’s skeleton. With help from small tractorlike machines, they are pulling down the beams and the steel columns they are attached to.

Then they are cutting the beams and columns into smaller pieces and loading them into trash-hauling bins that a crane lowers to the street.

Working their way down from the top of what was once a 41-story building, the workers reached the 26th floor on Tuesday morning.

They were cutting into the beams at the southwest corner of that floor, and the two-and-a-half-inch-thick concrete floor slab was vibrating. That was because a mechanical excavator — another tractorlike machine, with a jackhammer mounted on a movable front arm — was breaking through the slab on the southeast corner.

The broken pieces went into another trash-hauling bin and the crane took them away, too. The workers can dismantle one floor every four days or so.

A separate team is working its way through the building, removing the interiors and scrubbing away any contaminants that may remain.

Consultants to the development corporation said more than two years ago that besides asbestos, the building had excessive levels of seven hazardous substances, including dioxin, lead and chromium.

Now those floors have been reduced to their structural elements: naked columns and beams. The walls that once defined offices are gone. So are the plate-glass windows that once looked out on the trade center across the street. So are the wires that connected computers and phones and brought in electricity.

And there was the continuing search for human remains. The chief medical examiner’s office said in February that 766 body parts had been found in the building. Most were fragments of bone less than four inches long.

The long-delayed project got under way in earnest in February. A large construction company, Bovis Lend Lease, won a contract worth $82 million to clear the site, and before that, there was a court fight between Deutsche Bank and its insurers that ended after former Senator George J. Mitchell was called in as a mediator.

The solution was for the development corporation, which is controlled jointly by the state and the city, to buy the building for $90 million.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency approved the plan for dismantling the building last September after reviewing methods for keeping contaminants from being released into the air during the deconstruction.

The E.P.A. action came two months after a deputy commissioner for the city Department of Environmental Protection, Robert C. Avaltroni Jr., began leading meetings every other week with city and state officials and officials from the regional office of the E.P.A. to deal with issues raised by the project. Those meetings continued as Gov. George E. Pataki left office and Gov. Eliot Spitzer took over.

Finally, crews began driving what are called needle beams into the facade. The needle beams anchored the scaffolding, which obscured the building as the interior decontamination, including a top-to-bottom wipe-down, began.

Soon the crews were removing the floor-to-ceiling windows and replacing them with plywood.

Then the project slowed down again, as Bovis and the John Galt Corporation negotiated with the development corporation. They said they wanted an extra $30 million because the project turned out to be more complicated than they had expected it to be. Mr. Schick said the development corporation agreed to advance a total of $38 million toward the cost of finishing the job, with the exact amount to be negotiated — or litigated — later.

What is happening at 130 Liberty Street is certainly different from most demolition projects, where the process is less methodical and the rubble a jumble of steel, concrete, plaster and glass. In some ways, the Deutsche Bank building looks more like a construction site than a demolition site. Scaffolding runs up the outside of the building, as do elevators that are little more than lifts with perforated walls.

On the upper floors, where Mr. Schick and David Emil, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, led their tour, the work is being done by people in hard hats.

That was a sign of progress. The last time a reporter and a photographer were allowed in the building, they had to wear respirators and body suits.

This time, on the 26th floor, there was a grid of steel beams where the floor slab had been removed. And there was the part of the slab that Mr. Schick and Mr. Emil could still walk on, even as the excavator pounded the concrete. “In about 36 months,” Mr. Schick said, “there will be some banker here.”

He and Mr. Emil are determined to finish the disassembly to clear the way for a new building that will house JPMorgan Chase’s investment banking headquarters. “JPMorgan Chase is making a huge bet on our ability to do that,” Mr. Schick said.

Mr. Emil said the removal of the Deutsche Bank building would be finished in “late winter” — that is, in early 2008. But the deal for the additional money for Bovis and John Galt included a bonus if they finish by Dec. 31.

The deconstruction has had its problems. In May, a 22-foot-long metal pipe fell from the 35th floor and smashed through the roof of a nearby firehouse. No one was seriously hurt, but the deconstruction work was halted for about a week while the city reviewed safety precautions.

Mr. Schick said that a Buildings Department inspector is assigned to the building full time, as are inspectors from the E.P.A. and the state Labor Department, who are checking for environmental hazards. He said the work could be halted if they found unexpected debris the size of a dime — in a space not quite as large as an acre.

Twelve monitors that check air quality have been mounted on or near the building.

The last time one went off, Mr. Schick said, it was caused by drilling by Con Edison that had nothing to do with the project.

“This building is unique,” said Mr. Avaltroni, the city environmental official. “It was severely damaged, it had the gash, it had not been dealt with for a period of time, and if you look at it symbolically, it’s very important to get it down. The main objective here is do it right, get it done.”
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Old August 19th, 2007, 02:00 AM   #44
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Lol, 130 Liberty is on fire. I wonder who will be first to post the article on how it will delay 5.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #45
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August 18, 2007

OMG this site must be cursed!!

a fire broke out today at the Deutsche Bank...











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Old August 19th, 2007, 02:34 AM   #46
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Oh crap, firemen are dead according to NY1.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #47
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oh dear god, not another fire in a highrise. this just isnt the month for construction workers... or firemen. i hope not too many people were hurt. how many firemen died?
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Old August 19th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #48
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Old August 21st, 2007, 02:00 AM   #49
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_223/newdeutsche.html
Volume 20 Issue 14 | August 17 - 23, 2007

New Deutsche violations

As the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St. has continued its steady downward progress this summer, the project – now under the constant supervision of the Department of Buildings – has continued to rack up violations.

On July 3, a partial stop-work order was issued for dangerous demolition. According to the D.O.B.’s online records, that order was lifted on July 6 after an engineer’s report. On July 11 a violation was issued for “failure to maintain” when the demolition caused a large hole in the 31st floor of the building.

On Aug. 1, the D.O.B. issued a stop-work order when it found that “burning operations” – the use of torches to cut through steel – were sending sparks down onto lower floors where combustible materials were being stored.

That stop-work order was rescinded the same day, but the next day, the D.O.B. found that 130 Liberty’s permits to safely store combustible materials had expired. Those permits must be issued by the Fire Dept. On Aug. 3 a stop-work order was issued for all operations involving torches. According to D.O.B. spokesperson Kate Lindquist, the stop-work order was lifted on Aug. 6 after the project renewed its expired permits.

The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, which manages the deconstruction project, declined to comment on the stop-work orders and referred press inquiries to the D.O.B.

Though none of the recent snags were as serious as the incident in which a 15-foot pipe plummeted from the building into a firehouse last spring, they have spawned worried emails and phone calls between local residents and environmental advocates. Several residents of nearby buildings like 125 Cedar St. have said they will not feel completely safe until the Deutsche Bank tower is gone for good.

The 41-story office tower, which was heavily damaged and contaminated on 9/11, will no longer meet its Dec. 31 deadline for deconstruction. According to several officials, it is now expected to be down sometime in early 2008.

— Skye H. McFarlane
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:00 PM   #50
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/ny...l?ref=nyregion
Critics Say Lessons From 9/11 Were Not Followed in Deutsche Bank Blaze

By AL BAKER
Published: August 22, 2007
After the Sept. 11 attack at the World Trade Center, an independent consultant studied the Fire Department’s performance and identified a number of lapses amid all the undeniable valor of that day. It said that too many men rushed into the buildings before anyone realized the danger they were in, contributing to the staggering death toll.

The consultant, McKinsey & Company, said the Fire Department needed to use more caution and preparation when it approached such a major, complicated fire, and not send too many men in before it knew what it was dealing with.

Saturday’s fire at the former Deutsche Bank building, which left two firemen dead, presented its own set of challenges, but it also bore similarities to Sept. 11 that went beyond geography, including the fact that the building was a high-rise.

Now, some are questioning Saturday’s response, noting that, at one point, more than 100 firefighters were inside the building even though the fire was out of control and wildly unpredictable — and that those men had to be called out. And they were inside even though, unlike the situation in the twin towers, no workers were trapped.

“Clearly firefighters were sent into a deathtrap,” said Stephen J. Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “I think the Fire Department’s position is they didn’t know how bad it was. We certainly need to find out why they didn’t know.”

Yesterday, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta directed his investigators to determine why the department did not have a plan in place to fight a fire in the building.

Mr. Cassidy made his remarks as the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, announced that his office had opened an investigation into the fire to determine if any crimes had been committed. The move extends the prosecutors’ subpoena power to the fire marshals who are working with the district attorney’s office.

Mr. Cassidy also called for an independent investigation of the fire by the state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, who said last night that his office had begun reviewing the circumstances of the fire. Mr. Cassidy said the department was “not capable” of doing its own investigation because of its own involvement and its relationship with other city agencies involved.

In a way, it is a debate that goes to the heart of Fire Department culture — rushing into burning buildings, after all, is what firefighters do. And for their part, fire officials said they believed that Saturday’s fire was well managed, and that the department’s response could not be compared to its actions on 9/11.

“This is a fire in a high-rise building; it is not a terrorist attack,” said Francis X. Gribbon, the department’s chief spokesman. “They see the fire, they know where the fire is. They use the protocols in place to fight the fire.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended the department’s decision to send the more than 100 firefighters up into the building to fight the blaze, saying they bravely improvised in a crisis.

The Deutsche Bank building is being dismantled. Sheathed in black netting and plywood, the floors where the men were trapped had been sealed off with plywood and plastic sheeting, creating a maze that became especially daunting as the building filled with wind-fanned black smoke.

Radio transmissions captured the moment when high-ranking officials ordered all the men out — a striking echo of Sept. 11. With two men down and 29 Maydays coming from hellishly fire-engulfed floors, commanders wanted to do a head count.

The priorities of those in charge of the fire response are crystallized in one transmission: A senior official cursed as he said he did not care about the building, and shouted, “Where are my men?”

Firefighters were trapped without water because the standpipe system — plagued by a shut valve, cracks and a broken pipe — malfunctioned. The two firefighters who died, Robert Beddia, 53, and Joseph Graffagnino, 33, ran out of air. Investigators are focusing on a discarded cigarette or faulty electrical panel as the cause of the blaze.

“This was an unoccupied building,” said a former fire official. “On 9/11 we sent too many people in. McKinsey said that we should not rush men in and, even though the investigation is ongoing, it seems obvious at this point that we still have not learned the lesson that if you’re going to send people in, there should be adequate time and means to get them out.”

Charles R. Blaich, a retired deputy chief who was in charge of safety for the Fire Department at the ground zero site, said the McKinsey report changed how the department managed disasters.

“After 9/11 there were directions that came out from the chief of department that we never get ourselves into a position at these huge disasters where we just blindly assign assets without reasonably assessing what risks we face and what benefits we will achieve,” Mr. Blaich said. “What are we going to achieve by doing this?”

Thomas Von Essen, the fire commissioner on Sept. 11, said he had had many conversations with firefighters who responded on Saturday. He said many felt the operation had moved too quickly.

Mr. Von Essen said it was widely known that the bank building was undergoing a complex and dangerous demolition. He said fire officials should not have been surprised by what the firefighters encountered.

John J. McDonnell, the president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said he believed the lessons of Sept. 11 had been learned “to some extent.”

“I don’t know if the upper echelons of the Fire Department were aware of the complex nature of the abatement within the building, I mean everyone from the fire commissioner to his staff,” said Mr. McDonnell, whose union represents 2,450 members.

“Were they aware of the complex nature?” he asked. “If they were aware prior to that, maybe there would have been a different fire plan in place.”

He added, “Under a hazardous materials condition, you approach things on a much more cautious level. ”

Firefighters at the scene checked in with commanders, said Mr. Gribbon, the department spokesman. “They were given assignments and they went to work.”

Mr. Gribbon declined to release a minute-by-minute breakdown of the department’s response because he said the department was conducing an internal review that involved listening to radio transmissions, transcribing the tapes, interviews and re-interviews, among other things.

Mr. McDonnell said no one had been prepared to find the stairwell landings blocked by the heavy plywood boards used to compartmentalize buildings where asbestos was being removed. Firefighters had to use an exterior elevator and scaffolding stairs to get up and down.

Jerome M. Hauer, director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management from 1996 to 2000, said it was “unfair” to contrast the department’s operations on Saturday with the findings of the McKinsey report because “I don’t feel that the report was accurate in some of its assessments.”

He said the accountability for what occurred “has to rest” with the building owner and the demolition operators, not with the Fire Department.

Anemona Hartocollis and Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 10:58 PM   #51
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/ny...l?ref=nyregion
Obscure Company Is Behind 9/11 Demolition Work

By CHARLES V. BAGLI, DAVID W. DUNLAP and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
Published: August 23, 2007


Rob Bennett for The New York Times

The Regional Scaffolding and Hoisting Company in the Bronx is one of the companies behind the John Galt Corporation, the demolition contractor for the former Deutsche Bank building.


The John Galt Corporation of the Bronx, hired last year for the dangerous and complex job of demolishing the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, where two firefighters died last Saturday, has apparently never done any work like it. Indeed, Galt does not seem to have done much of anything since it was incorporated in 1983.

Public and private records give no indication of how many employees it has, what its volume of business is or who its clients are. There are almost no accounts of any projects it has undertaken on any scale, apart from 130 Liberty Street. Court records are largely silent. Some leading construction executives in the city say they have never even heard of it.

That may not be as surprising as it seems. John Galt, it appears, is not much more than a corporate entity meant to accommodate the people and companies actually doing the demolition job at the emotionally charged and environmentally hazardous site at the edge of ground zero.

The companies and project managers who have been providing the expertise, the workers and the financing for the job are Regional Scaffolding and Hoisting Company, which is not in business to demolish skyscrapers, and former executives from Safeway Environmental Corporation, a company that was already removed from one contract at 130 Liberty because of concerns about its integrity.

Using a separate corporation to insulate the assets of a parent company from the enormous potential liabilities of demolition work is not itself unusual. And challenging construction projects in the city often have several companies come together in a joint effort.

The arrangement involving Galt — achieved after multiple companies that had bid on the Deutsche Bank contract were eliminated for one reason or another — is nonetheless odd for such a momentous job, one that is expected ultimately to cost roughly $150 million.

The arrangement, never fully publicly disclosed, was proposed by the general contractor charged with overseeing the demolition, Bovis Lend Lease, and approved by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which owns 130 Liberty Street.

Yesterday, Bovis announced that it had declared Galt in default on the bank building contract, saying the outfit Bovis had selected had failed “to live up to terms of its contract with respect to site supervision, maintenance and project safety.” One person who has spoken to Bovis executives, but who was not authorized to speak for the company, said it was likely that Galt would be formally fired within the week.

When officials at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation approved Galt’s participation, they even allowed two former senior Safeway executives to join the operation at the Deutsche Bank building on several conditions, including that they cooperate with an investigation being conducted by the city’s Department of Investigation.

In the 17 months since Galt took shape — and as problems mounted at the demolition site, including repeated safety violations — city and state officials have made announcements about the work and problems at 130 Liberty referring to John Galt as if it were a fully established corporation, and never mentioning by name the more controversial and less than perfectly qualified people and companies doing the work.

(John Galt, by the way, is a central character, an engineer, in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.” The book begins with this line: “Who is John Galt?”)

John Galt’s stationery puts its headquarters at 3900 Webster Avenue in the Bronx, near Woodlawn Cemetery, the same address as Regional Scaffolding’s. The two companies also share many of the same officers.

Greg Blinn, who is shown in city records as the president of the John Galt Corporation, said in a telephone interview: “I’m not really sure how I can help. My contract precludes me from talking to the media. I have to refer all questions or inquiries to the L.M.D.C.”

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, who was a member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation at the time it approved the Galt contract, said through a spokesman this week that safeguards had been put in place to make sure that the former Safeway executives did nothing inappropriate — like funnel money back to Safeway.

Those safeguards included enlisting the help of an integrity monitor who would scrutinize, among other things, Galt’s hiring, purchases and financial transactions.

The complicated nature of the arrangement on the demolition job resulted to a great extent from the difficulty Bovis and the state had in attracting any contractors interested in, or capable of, performing the novel and high-profile job.

It is not hard to understand why most contractors — particularly during a building boom, when they can pick and choose work — would balk at doing a job involving hazardous materials under microscopic regulatory scrutiny for a governmental client whipsawed by demands that demolition go faster (so that ground zero redevelopment could proceed) and slower (to ensure that contaminants were not released into the neighborhood).

Add to that the extremely high cost of obtaining insurance for the work, and the lack of any meaningful precedent for the operation, and most companies would see a recipe for delay, escalating costs and shrinking profits.

Safeway first surfaced on the scene at 130 Liberty when it, along with Regional Scaffolding, won a $13 million scaffolding contract in 2005 for the bank building.

But Safeway, its former owners, Harold Greenberg, 61, and Stephen Chasin, 56, and another company they long operated, Big Apple Wrecking and Construction Corporation, had a troubled history.

Mr. Greenberg, of Staten Island, has gone to federal prison twice for crimes related to the industry.

Identified by federal investigators as a Gambino crime family associate, he was convicted in 1988 of bribing a federal inspector to overlook asbestos-removal violations while Big Apple was demolishing Gimbels department store on East 86th Street in Manhattan. Three years later he pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a bid-rigging scheme involving other contractors.

Safeway’s failure to disclose his criminal history and the accusations of mob ties led the authorities to bar the company from working on city schools in 2003. School investigators contended that Mr. Greenberg and his partner in Big Apple and Safeway, Mr. Chasin, sought to disguise their roles in companies in order to obtain public contracts and other work from which his convictions would bar them.

(Safeway Environmental was one of the subcontractors used in the development of a new headquarters for The New York Times, across Eighth Avenue from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.)

Neither Mr. Greenberg nor Mr. Chasin could be reached for comment. Calls left at their offices and homes were not returned.

The two former Safeway executives, Mitchel Alvo and Don Adler, declined to comment.

At the city’s insistence, Safeway was ultimately bounced from the scaffolding contract at the bank building.

Meanwhile, the effort to take down the building moved slowly, as litigation and fights over costs and responsibility dragged on.

By early 2006, though, Bovis, a multibillion-dollar global operation, had won the giant contract to oversee the demolition of the bank building. Seven contractors submitted bids to Bovis to do the demolition work under Bovis’s direction. Some, though, were deemed not qualified. Others dropped out.

That all opened the way for what was known as the John Galt Corporation.

“There was only one contractor willing to work on taking down the building, as far as I know,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Tuesday.

Thus began the negotiations to allow Galt to go forward and tackle the contaminated building. According to an agreement between the state and Bovis, John Galt was allowed to take on Mr. Alvo and Mr. Adler, the two former Safeway executives.

“A series of conditions were included in the contract at the direction of L.M.D.C. that prevented questionable individuals from working at this job or from having any association with John Galt,” said Mr. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor. “Once Galt and Bovis agreed to these stipulations, representatives on the L.M.D.C. board from the city joined their state counterparts and voted to approve the contract amendment to Bovis.”

According to the agreement, portions of which were shared with a reporter, neither John Galt nor Bovis could employ or use the services of any other senior executives, principals or owners of Safeway Environmental or two other companies, one of them Big Apple Wrecking.

The contractors also agreed to allow Mr. Alvo and Mr. Adler to cooperate with the city’s Department of Investigation in what was described in the agreement — without elaboration — as an ongoing investigation.

The presence of Mr. Alvo and Mr. Adler on the 130 Liberty Street project was not mentioned in the development corporation’s March announcement but was highlighted in a Daily News article on April 16, 2006.

John Galt, having done little, if any, work before the 130 Liberty Street project, did actually try to win another project shortly after starting work at the bank building.

It was the winning bidder for the demolition contract at the Bronx House of Detention in the summer of 2006. But it failed to obtain approval through the city’s contract review process and lost the job because, officials say, they learned that the city’s Department of Investigation had opened an investigation into John Galt.

“In July 2006, E.D.C. and the developer were made aware that D.O.I. had initiated an investigation of Galt that might delay a background clearance, so the developer instead used the next lowest bidder,” said Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

Galt’s work at the Deutsche Bank building, however, went on unaffected.

Deputy Mayor Doctoroff said the city’s decision to deny Galt the Bronx contract did not obligate the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to re-examine whether Galt was the right company to be working at ground zero.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #52
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OMG

http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...id=1&aid=72898


August 23, 2007

At least two firefighters were injured this afternoon when construction equipment being used at the Deutsche Bank building fell to the ground, hours after crews began doing remedial work on the building following Saturday’s deadly fire.

The Empire State Development Corporation said that around 2:15 p.m. a pallet jack fell from the 23rd floor of the building and struck a temporary shed. The two firefighters were injured as they were walking in the safety perimeter around the building.

All work on the site has been halted and all workers have been removed from the site.

Sources tell NY1 that the construction equipment likely fell from an outside elevator or hoist that was carrying it up the north side of the building.

The firefighters were taken to Saint Vincent's Medical Center – one with head injuries. The other is said to have sustained minor injuries. They are both said to be in stable condition.

Preliminary reports indicated that several construction workers were also injured, but that information has not been confirmed.

Demolition work at the WTC site skyscraper was suspended after the tragic fire that killed firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino on Saturday, but remedial work began this morning on the south side of the building between the 20th and 26th floors to remove debris and contain toxic material inside the building to make the site safe.

Residents in the area have long complained about the safety of the site.

"The building probably should have come down at least three years ago, but because of money and insurance it has remained,” said neighborhood resident Andy Jurinko. “I live probably 75 feet from the Deutsche bank. I go in and out of the entrance way every day, walking past the Deutsche Bank… It has been treacherous. It's been a disastrous area for the last six years."

Earlier today, residents who live near the building were advised to keep their windows closed while the remedial work was being performed.

A spokesman for the ESDC said crews began work this morning to make the site safe.

E-mails and calls were put out to residents advising them to close their windows in case of flying debris. The ESDC says people should not be concerned about air quality.

Before any work could begin, crews had to receive clearance from the Fire Department and the Department of Buildings because a stop-work order is still in effect, meaning demolition cannot take place. Before today’s incident, remedial work was expected to go on for several days.

Nearby residents say they've become accustomed to these types of problems living in the area.

"It's just a little inconvenience,” said one resident. “We can't drive through the neighborhood, and we’ve got to go through the checkpoints. But other than that, there's really no problems at all.”

“It's not too bad. I have to come in the back door, which isn't too difficult,” added another. “The only annoying thing is there's no access to the front. But other than that, it's not too bad."

The investigation into what caused Saturday's blaze continues. FDNY records show that the last time a comprehensive inspection was done on the failed standpipe system was back in March of 2005. According to department regulations, standpipes in buildings being demolished are to be inspected every 15 days.

The city has also admitted that it did not have a plan to fight a fire in the building, even though one is required to stay up to code.

The sub-contractor in charge of demolition has been fired. The John Galt Company was declared in default of its contract by the site's contractor.

The city says the building had a history of violations from the Department of Buildings, including several fines this year for failure to properly remove combustible material and debris.

The Manhattan district attorney's office and the state attorney general are both investigating the fire.



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Old August 24th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #53
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Ah very nice project New York. Keep on going!
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #54
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Sorry to hear about those firefighters, a real pity
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Old August 25th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #55
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TalB--Its almost unbelievable that this John Galt Corporation is being allowed to do this work given the sketchy history of the company and its associates. But I guess that's about what we should expect at ground zero.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #56
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_23...iresafety.html
Volume 20, Number 25 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 2 - 8, 2007

New fire safety violations at Deutsche

By Josh Rogers

Officials may hope to resume demolishing the Deutsche Bank building soon, but the project’s fire and safety problems continue.

In October — two months after the Aug. 18 blaze killed two firefighters at the damaged building — the city Dept. of Buildings issued three violations — one for allowing combustible debris to accumulate on the sixth floor (Oct. 4), one for leaving debris too close to the edge of the building (Oct. 5), and one for doing after hours work without a permit (Oct. 13).

“One would think they’d be careful — they’re under investigation, two people have died, the community is up in arms,” Pat Moore said of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and other agencies overseeing the building across the street from her home.

She is a member of Community Board 1 and attended an Oct. 12 meeting of the 130 Liberty St. Advisory Committee, yet she had not heard about the violations until she was contacted by Downtown Express.

“Why would we have a meeting on the 12th and not hear about the violations,” she asked. The meeting was run by the L.M.D.C., the building’s owner.

Kimberly Flynn of 9/11 Environmental Action said a fellow activist emailed her the information about the violations but she also got no official word, despite attending the Oct. 12 meeting.

“These are violations in October, at which point we would have thought the L.M.D.C. had the situation firmly in hand,” she said. “The nature of the violations is particularly troubling….”

“It’s looking like same-old, same-old. At the community meetings [right after the fire] people asked over and over, ‘what’s going to be different to prevent injuries, accidents and fires?’”

Officials with the development corporation, a state-city authority under the control of the governor, did not comment for this article.

Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of C.B. 1’s World Trade Center Committee, said L.M.D.C. officials did say Oct. 12 that they were reducing the “fire load” in the building, but they did not connect the change to the recent violations.

The violations have been rectified, according to the Buildings Dept. Web site.

Avi Schick, the L.M.D.C.’s chairperson, said a few weeks ago that the work resealing the building to prevent possible toxic chemicals from escaping was proceeding well and he hoped the cleanup and demolition would begin soon.

Councilmember Alan Gerson said two weeks ago that the L.M.D.C. promised to testify before his Council committee before demolition work resumed. Gerson postponed the hearing then, and he has not yet rescheduled, an indication that the demolition date may have been pushed back.

Fifteen of the building’s 41 stories were taken apart before the fire.

The corporation has not yet picked a subcontractor to replace John Galt Corp., which was cited for numerous safety violations before the fire. Last year, Board 1 warned the L.M.D.C. not to hire the firm, citing Galt’s lack of experience and alleged ties to organized crime.

The L.M.D.C.’s silence about the fire and safety violations is the latest in a list of community complaints about the project.

This year after each major incident, officials made assurances that the project would proceed safely, but they were not specific about what the mistakes were and what they learned. A large pipe fell off the building and crashed through the nextdoor firehouse in May, injuring two firefighters slightly. The fire killed Joseph Graffagnino and Robert Beddia Aug. 18, and then five days later, a 300-pound forklift fell off the building, crashed through a shed, and injured two other firefighters seriously.

The night before that last incident, the L.M.D.C. sent out a community advisory saying that Bovis Lend Lease would be working on the site, ostensibly to make it safer before demolition work resumed, but the LM.D.C. did not disclose that John Galt would be there as well.

One of Galt’s workers was blamed for losing control of the forklift and Aug. 23 turned out to be its last day on the site.

Julie Menin, CB. 1’s chairperson and a member of the L.M.D.C.’s board of directors, said residents must be told immediately when problems are discovered at Deutsche. “We shouldn’t be put in a position,” she said, “where we have to be ferreting out information about what’s happening at the site.”

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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #57
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unique !


unique new york
unique new york
unique new york
unique new york


lol thats hard to say over and over
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Old November 15th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #58
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/11142007...e_b_617986.htm
MIKE, SPITZ & PATAKI FACE $180M DEUTSCHE BLAZE SUITS

By CHUCK BENNETT

November 14, 2007 -- Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Spitzer and former Gov. Pataki all share responsibility for the August inferno at the condemned Deutsche Bank building that killed two firefighters, according to notices of claim filed yesterday on behalf of the victims' families that seek $180 million.

The papers filed yesterday allege that top elected officials and their appointees are to blame for the fire through "their abject misconduct and callous indifference."

"This is a first step of a long, long process my family and I are going through to force change in the city and prevent a disaster like this from happening again," said Linda Graffagnino, who lost her firefighter husband Joseph in the blaze.

The long-expected civil litigation comes as a grand jury has begun hearing evidence in the ongoing criminal probe.

"People are definitely going to get indicted," said a source familiar with the grand-jury proceedings into the deaths of Graffagnino and Robert Beddia.

Firefighters responding to the Aug. 18 blaze at the tower overlooking Ground Zero were confronted by a confusing maze of blocked stairwells and barriers meant to contain the spread of asbestos and World Trade Center dust.

Graffagnino, 33, and Beddia, 53, both died on the 14th floor of the building.

The claim, filed on behalf of Linda Graffagnino, 33, and her two children Mia, 4, and Joseph, 1, seeks $150 million.

Beddia's younger sister Barbara Crocco, 49, filed a separate notice of claim seeking $30 million. Additional reporting

by Kati Cornell

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Old November 16th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #59
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_23...rdeutsche.html
Volume 20, Number 26 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 9 - 15, 2007

The reason for Deutsche violations?

‘Why not,’ the L.M.D.C. asks

By Julie Shapiro

There is no guarantee that Downtown has seen the last of the violations at the Deutsche Bank building, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said Monday.

The comments, by President David Emil, were the L.M.D.C.’s first public reply to the three Dept. of Buildings violations first reported by Downtown Express last week. The L.M.D.C. incurred the violations in October for combustible debris on the sixth floor, debris too close to the edge of the building and work starting too early in the morning.

“It is our obvious desire to bring this [building] down completely in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations,” Emil said. “We think the issues have been addressed, but we are obviously concerned about [the violations] and are trying to not have it happen again.”

Emil spoke at the C.B. 1 World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee, where members questioned him on everything from the violations to the project’s timeline.

Asked after the meeting why violations continue at the building, Emil replied, “Why not?”

“The building is being very, very carefully regulated, and the regulators are going to enforce the letter of the law,” Emil said. “When you do that in a building in which each floor is an acre, it’s impossible to say there will never be another violation. What it is possible to say is that we’re going to absolutely positively try to do everything right.”

Emil also updated the committee on the progress of resealing the building, a necessary step before decontamination continues.

The L.M.D.C. had hoped to finish resealing the building with plastic sheets last week, but should finish by the end of this week, Emil said.

Also, unlike the pre-fire setup in which sections of the building were sealed in two-floor blocks, workers are rebuilding the original fire staircases, which will allow access through the 19th floor. Emil hopes to have the staircases complete by Nov. 16.

The extended timeline for the project is fuzzier.

“If [the building] is completely down by June or July, I, for one, would be very happy,” Emil said.

“Would you be surprised?” a committee member asked.

“I’m not sure what would surprise me on this job,” Emil replied.

He then said that progress could be slow over the winter, since construction workers usually heat their sites with open flames. The room fell completely silent, and then Emil quickly added that setting fires was not an option in the 130 Liberty St. building, where a blaze killed two firefighters Aug. 18.

Emil still had no news on plans to hire a subcontractor to complete the demolition. The L.M.D.C. has also not decided whether to complete the decontamination before starting demolition work, though Emil is still “leaning strongly in favor” of completing decontamination first.

Several committee members were concerned about the violations.

Barry Skolnick asked about the role of URS Corporation, which the L.M.D.C. hired before the fire to oversee the other contractors.

Emil replied that it would be unrealistic to expect URS to prevent all violations, especially the one for working after hours without a permit.

Pat Moore, who lives next door, asked about the flammable material still in the building.

There are two types of flammable material, Emil said. The first type is construction debris contained in large boxes above the 14th floor. Of the 350 to 400 boxes, 190 have been removed so far. Once the building is resealed, the removal will continue.

The second type is construction material, like sheetrock, that was stored in the building prior to the fire and needs to be moved, Emil said. This presumably was the material that the city objected to, since the violation was issued for a buildup of combustible debris on the sixth floor.

A question on insurance came from board member Tom Goodkind. He wanted to know whether Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance Company and AXA Corporate Solutions insurance company have pitched in their share of the demolition costs.

“So far the insurance companies have participated…in funding that escrow agreement,” Emil said. “I don’t want to characterize whether they’re honoring it or not honoring it, but as to whether they have contributed any money so far, the answer would be yes.”

Avi Schick, the development corporation’s chairperson, has said previously that he does not want to disclose how much money the agency will try and get from the insurers because it is likely to be the subject of litigation.

The L.M.D.C. paid $90 million for the 130 Liberty St. building in 2004 and agreed to fund the demolition up to a $45 million cap. Beyond that, the insurance companies agreed to pay a certain percentage of the costs. The details, Emil said, are complicated.

In February 2004, officials said insurance companies would cover the entire cost over $45 million. On Monday, Emil would not name the percentage that the companies must pay.

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Old November 16th, 2007, 12:42 AM   #60
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_23...theeditor.html
Deutsche deja vu

To The Editor:

I am not too surprised to hear that there is another violation at Deutsche Bank (news article, Nov. 2 – 8, “New fire safety violations at Deutsche”). As usual, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation continues to cut corners while demolishing this building despite what dangers can be faced while doing it. The reason they will continue without taking safety precautions is because they feel that they have a schedule to keep, and delaying their demolitions can throw a wrench into the official plans through a chain reaction. You cannot put a price on safety, but I take it some just never learn from their mistakes

Tal Barzilai
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