Monday, March 31, 2008
Now... Two stories of the planned four.
Two time ECB award recipient... Mr. Sandor Weiss!
Description of Violation:
SEC-157 FOUNDATION PLANS ARE NOT ADEQUATE IN THAT THE PLANS ARE NOT COMPLETE OR OF SUFFICIENT CLARITY TO INDICATE THE ENTIRE NATURE & EXTENT
OF PROPOSED FOUNDATION WORK.DRAWING S-1(DATED 11/8/06 SECTION 2-2 SHOW
Description of Violation:
SEC-132 FAILURE TO CARRY OUT CONTROLLED INSPECTIONS. RESPONSIBILITIES IN APPROPRIATE MANNER TO ENSURE WORK WAS PROCEEDING SAFELY,PROPERLY & IN ACCORDANCE W/APPROVED APPL.NB JOB #302231270 (PLANS,NOTES,SPECS)UNDERPINNING.
Link to previous post:
When we last visited 289 13th Street there was a Stop Work Order posted out front on the construction fence. This is how the excavation site looked back then.
This is how it looks today. Not much has changed over the past 4 months.
Description of Violation:
FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY SUPPORT ADJOINING GROUNDS AND STRUCTURES AFFECTED BY EXCAVATION. NOTED: AT TIME OF INSPECTION AN EXCAVATION SITE WITH
A SHEER CUT OF APPROX. 7' TO 6' DEEP AND NO PROTECTION PROVIDED (NEO)M
Re: BOROUGH COMMISSIONER HAS ISSUED A 10-DAY LETTER OF INTENT.TO REVOKE APPLICATION 302359301 ON 11/09/07 ISSUE DOB STOP ORDER AND NOTE THE PERCENTAGE OF WORK COMPLETED SO FAR ON VIOLATION AND COMPLAINT
Friday, March 28, 2008
Walk the plank.
Debris is carried across planks to the sidewalk bridge and then tossed down into the dumpster out front in the street. Found the sidewalk blocked off to pedestrians this past Thursday afternoon.
Read this previous post below concerning this new development.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
These illustrations below were lifted from the Architects portfolio page... RMJM Hillier. You can check out examples of their work by clicking here.
This view is from Forth Avenue looking West towards the Gowanus Expressway and beyond that, the water and the rest of the United States.
This view looking east as seen from Third Avenue under the Gowanus/BQE.
For past IMBY postings on the topic you can visit.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Ms. Lancaster, Do you get frustrated trying to manage the "terrible two's"... Licensed and registered NYC professional architects and engineers? Thinking about pulling the self certification plug on everyone just to make your point? Wish there was a better way? Well now there is!
You can now consistently manage and control insubordinate behavior at home, on the job, or even on the go with "Time Out Spot". These 27-inch round all-weather rugs can be conveniently located (and relocated) as necessary and the non-skid rubber backing keeps your rascally professional RA or PE from scooting it to a better location... Like on to the next job site!
"But IMBY, you ask, How does it work?"
Click on photos to engorge.
IAD DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES
When using Time-Out Spot® and the "Time-Out" method:
It's important to first explain to your naughty little RA/PE how "Time-Out" works.
Discuss acceptable and unacceptable professional behavior with your RA/PE.
Use Time Out Spot® immediately following unacceptable behavior.
Try and remain calm, cool and collected.
Be consistent with the little dickens.
Unruly buildings professionals should be given "Time-Out" equal in time to their age. (Example 57 months for a 57 year old.)
Afterwards, discuss acceptable behavior that should have been used.
These time tested techniques can also be used on mischievous foundation/excavation/underpinning contractors. Order on-line today!
The Armory Plaza Play Group
2002 Voluntary Surrender of Privileges
Hertzbag, Abraham PE #29007 Surrendered all limited supervisory check privileges (D-14 and Self-Cert)
Rudusky, Henry RA# 015029 Surrendered Self-Cert privileges
2008 Disciplinary Actions from the Department of Buildings
Louis Sanchez, P.E. #046307
Hertzberg & Sanchez/P.C. Surrendered ability to make any filing.
Abraham Hertzberg P.E. #029007
Hertzberg & Sanchez/P.C. Surrendered ability to make any filing.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Photo: Jonathan Fickies for The New York Times
That's the question that NYC Buildings Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster should be asking herself. Why is it that the same names always seem to keep popping up when ever some catastrophic building related accident happens in Brooklyn? Why hasn't anyone pulled the plug on these guys yet? Where is the accountability?
I know Ms. Lancaster that you are most likely busy on the phone right now with those over worked folks at the FORENSIC ENGINEERING UNIT trying to get to the bottom of things. Thanks for coming out to Brooklyn the other day. It's always important to be seen as proactive. Can't have this sort of thing, (construction workers being buried alive) happening on a reoccurring basis. My patient neighbors might begin to lose confidence in the Department's ability to protect them from less than professional "Professionals".
Implementation of the Special Enforcement Plan?
From DoB press release...
“Our Special Enforcement Plan is designed to disrupt the business models of those who intentionally or carelessly put the public and workers at risk by defying the Building Code or Zoning Resolution. We've formed three new enforcement units and empowered them to take action on critical construction issues affecting New Yorkers: repeat offenders; unsafe excavation work; and abuses of the professional certification privilege,” said Commissioner Lancaster. “While our work has just begun, this is a substantial step toward reaching our ultimate goal of ensuring safe and compliant development by making it cost effective to play by the rules."
Business model, what business model? The owner, Mr. William Lattarulo, has eight hazardous E.C.B. violations currently open on his property, some dating back to 5/18/2005. Records show two open ECB violations for work with out permits are also in default, their substantial fines remain unpaid. Of course not paying your ECB violations doesn't necessarily make you dangerous. No one pays these fines that I know of, but excavating while underpinning the foundation of an occupied apartment building in a "shoddy" (according to Lancaster), unprofessional manner with expired permits does, in my humble opinion.
While I can find no permits, currently issued for the address "759 Glenmore Avenue" on the DoB building information web site. There are permits for "751 Glenmore Avenue" the construction site next door where yesterdays Stop Work Order was issued. Greenleaf Construction Inc. is the contractor doing the excavation work for the new commercial building. There is now a violation for "Failure to safe guard the public and property" on the books.
I imagine if we had known Mr. Louro Ortega before the "cave in" took his life, we would have tried to warn him of the potential danger. We would have advised him to find another job where safety matters. Maybe we would have convinced him that what he was getting into was beyond trouble and steered him clear of harms way. But we didn't, and now he's dead.
Having your bell rung.
Most South Slopers are more than familiar by now at least with the Brooklyn architect Henry Radusky of Bricolage Designs, Inc. He even has his own Wikipedia page! That's his job 791 Glenmore Avenue in East New York Brooklyn, the site of yesterdays fatal accident, but do you know his associate Mr. Sanchez, License #046307? I do. By name anyway.
I have never met him, but I've seen his handiwork.
That's why seeing his name in print while reading the Daily News story was like a bullet to the brain. I'm no news paper reporter or journalist by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just a average Joe who happens to have ring side seats to what's turning out to be one hell of an interesting fight. Of coarse I'm talking about, what else, but 406 15th Street in Brooklyn, aka The Armory Plaza. The poster child for... everything.
"Imminently perilous to life"
Mr. Louis Sanchez, of Sanchez Associates/PC 295 Northern Boulevard, Great Neck, NY is the engineer of record who not only filed the structural plans for the disastrous Glenmore Avenue job, he has also worked on and supervised the structural/foundation designs for The Armory Plaza.
The infamous Armory Plaza?... 406 15th Street in Brooklyn?... Come on, surely you of all people, Ms. Lancaster, are one of my loyal 34 "hits" per day. Have you stopped reading my blog? Does anyone remember what happened at 1504 Eighth Avenue on July 25th, 2006? That's the day eight families were ordered to vacate their apartments at a moments notice after huge cracks formed through out their brick walls and the building began to sink. Sounds familiar.
"Engaging in acts of gross incompetence or gross negligence on a single occasion, or for some, negligence or incompetence on more than one occasion" can get you in trouble with New York State Education Office of Professional Licensing. They discipline engineers and architects by suspending their licenses and/or imposing fines. The future doesn't look so brite for Mr. Sanchez any more. The loss of his license may be the least of his worries.
According to the DAILY NEWS story writers MATTHEW LYSIAK and TINA MOORE,
Lancaster said her office was talking to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes about criminal charges for both Lattarulo and the project's engineer, Louis Sanchez of Sanchez Associates PC.
A spokesman for Hynes said the two men could face a "wide range" of criminal charges, including reckless endangerment.
Sanchez had lost his privilege to perform engineering jobs in the city a week earlier because of "questionable practices," Lancaster said.
The department penalized him after a new special enforcement team found he was allowing his business partner to use Sanchez's professional stamp to submit applications. His partner surrendered his privileges in 2002.
"The excavation team is tracking excavation sites across the city and holding engineers and contractors to a higher standard than ever before," Lancaster said.
406 15th St. foundation plans-Is this just an informal suggestion or a legal requirement?
STAGE 1. 1.) "MONITOR THE MOVEMENT OF ADJACENT BUILDINGS AND CRACK WIDTHS"
There are still many engineering questions to be answered yet. I wonder what future role Sanchez Associates, if any, will have in the completion of the Armory Plaza. The next few months should be enlightening to say the least.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
South Sloped: Old and Older
So what's new and what's old? We continue our changing face of Fifteenth Street downhill slide today by looking at 226 15th Street. There's nothing but dirt behind that construction fence now but soon Canadian starchitect Hot Karl Fischer hey, will work his magic, and we will have a new R6B compliant, 4 story (48' tall), 22 unit residential building with 11 off street parking spots in like no time at all.
I want to thank "Kencta" for this photo of 226 15th Street taken sometime before its demolition in the fall of 2007. Must have passed this building hundreds of times without ever knowing it was the former home to the 900 seat Globe Theater movie house. I always thought the building reminded me of the Alamo especially after they stuccoed it brown. Never saw anyone coming or going, but in 2002 the owner applied to have the building changed to use as a single family home with art studio.
The Globe was designed by Edward Kleinert, the same architect who worked on the old Sander's Theater, now reborn as the Pavilion Theater at 188 Prospect Park West and 14th Street.
History recalls that the desperate struggle continued until the defenders were finally overwhelmed by Santa Anna's army and the Globe eventually closed in 1955-56.
If you want to go on a kind of "spot the cinema" scavenger hunt, this gentleman has photographed dozens of closed/demolished/reincarnated Brooklyn theaters in their present state of being, whether that's currently a grocery store, church, or basketball arena.
KENCTA'S FLICKR.COM BROOKLYN THEATERS PHOTO SET
The Globe 1956?: Photo Frank Guerrasio.
IMBY'S Believe it or not, 419 Seventh Avenue (the corner of 14th Street) was once home to a local plumbing contractor and way before that, the Minerva Theater. Here are some current photos of the creative/adaptive reuse of the one time theater building into a residential apartment building.
According to Cinematreasures.org
"Located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn on Seventh Avenue on the northeast corner of 14th Street. It opened in 1912 as the Palace Theatre and had a seating capacity given in 1926 and 1927 as 450. By 1930 it had been re-named Armory Theatre (after the nearby Park Slope Armory building which is located close-by) and the seating capacity was given as 428.
By 1941 it had been re-named the Minerva Theatre and had a seating capacity of 398, but it was listed as closed in that year, so it possibly closed in 1940."
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
More 15th Street development photos, this time all the way down the hill to the corner of Fourth Avenue. For 20 years 546-548 Fifteenth St. has been vacant and more or less allowed to rot and fall apart. When the wooden cornice fell off a few years ago, they just covered a large part of building in ugly sheet metal bandages. Finally in June of 2007 they tore down the buildings. The demolition contractor on this mess was none other than MMG Construction who received this site safety award for another job well done. Currently a Stop Work Order is in place until they finish water proofing the next door neighbor's building. That explains the scaffolding. There are no plans on file for any new construction.
The unabridged copy: Building's Dept. complaints mega list.
Apparently it's much harder than you think to build a plywood fence that can remain in an upright position.
We still have a few more buildings to go this week before our South Slope Tour of 15th St. is complete. Stay tuned.
When I think of all the endless choices available out there in exterior masonry water-proofing design, why would anyone choose this wall paper pattern?
Downhill from us.
We continue our focus on the new architecture of Fifteenth Street. Here's another recent addition/alteration to the block, 444 Seventh Avenue (a corner building).
As seen in context with surrounding buildings. I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said so I will leave you with this photo of a 13' long alligator eating a deer.