Friday, May 30, 2008

400 15th Street climbs out of the cellar.

400-402 15th Street in Brooklyn.

PROPOSED FIVE STORY 18 CLASS"A" RESIDENTIAL APARTMENT BUILDING WITH CELLAR AND 15 SPACES FOR OFF STREET PARKING (4,200 sq.ft.) This foundation hardship case remains grandfathered in by the BSA under the old R6 residential zoning.


Everything you always wanted to know about this building...Here's a start.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crossing the i's and dotting the t's... catching up on the paper work.

Here's a recent photo of the rear facade of 406 15th Street, aka "The Armory Plaza". Not sooo bad. But clearly, one can see that it no longer resembles a big hole in the ground. That's why I am puzzled by the two recent ECB violations ( severity A- HIGH) issued on 4/20/08 and scheduled for a hearing later this month on the 23rd of June.
"Description of Violation:

I understand that the original engineers for the Armory Plaza, Sanchez and Hertberg, PE's, have both been disciplined by the Department of Buildings in 2008 and have voluntarily surrendered their ability to make any new filings. I am sure the replacement engineering firm, Demerara Engineering, who was brought in to finish the job, has gone ahead and done all the necessary amended filings, we hope. The developer has until June 11th to comply with the ECB/ DOB violations. That still doesn't make a neighbor feel anymore safe and secure having this building in your back yard and, knowing that the whole thing rests on a three story deep foundation that may have been completed before all the plans were submitted and approved. Maybe this is how things are done. Make things up as one goes along, using the laws of physics whenever applicable. Lord knows terrible things can happen when we place public safety in the hands of unsupervised private contractors.

Meet Mr. Abraham Hertzberg.

Meet Mr. Sanchez.


Who was supervising the installation of hundreds of these 60' deep hollow tube piles? Where are the geotechnical reports? The engineering log books detailing the day to day boring data? No one, and I mean NO ONE, seems to be able to produce them.
It has got to be important to know just how many hits with the shovel end of a back hoe it takes to set these piles. For Pete's sake, can you at least tell us whether the bucket was full or empty at the time.

Nice photos showing the extent of the over-boring. Notice the subsurface voids surrounding the tubes? How deep do they go? Deep enough.

Memorial Baptist Church yard sink hole.

Standing on the brink: 1504 8th Avenue sans people.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Protection of neighboring buildings requires site surveys.

Checklist for Engineering Audit

Pre Survey of Existing Adjoining Foundations and Protection of Adjoining Property

“With engineering, it is either right or not,”

“This dates back centuries. This is a known trade. There is very little new about this stuff.”
said Timothy D. Lynch, PE Chief Engineer NYC DOB's Special Enforcement Excavations Team

-From the New York Times May 20th, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

226 15th Street Ordered to Stop Work

Karl Fischer project site closed for violation of section 27-146 of New York City Administrative code.

§ 27-146 Endorsement of approved plans.
All plans and amendments thereto, when approved by the commissioner, shall be stamped or endorsed "approved" under the official seal of the department, followed by a notation of the date of plan approval. One set of such approved plans shall be retained in the department office of the borough in which the building premises or equipment is located; and after the issuance of a work permit, a second set of such approved plans shall be retained at the place where the building premises or equipment is located, and shall be open at all times to inspection by the commissioner and his or her authorized representatives until final inspection of the work is completed.

Links to past IMBY posts:

"Remember The Globe! Theater on 15th Street?"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stop Work Order Fines Highlighted For Your Convenience.

This looks like a new feature, no?
Building Property Profile Overview Page with highlighted Stop Work Order banner in red now featuring FINES DUE. Click on this banner to access details.

Click on the highlighted complaint number in the left column for violation details.

Everything you never wanted to know about 325 20th Street.

Architectural Voyeurism No. 14

Armory Plaza Colors.

My mother's people came by ship
And fought at Bunker Hill
My daddy lost a leg in France
I have his medal still
My brother served with Patton
I saw action in Algiers
Oh we must be doin' somethin' right
To last 200 years.

I pray my sons won't go to war
But if they must, they must.
I share our country's motto
And in God I place my trust.
We may have had our ups and downs
Our times of trials and fears.
But we must be doin' somethin' right
To last 200 years.

I've lived through two depressions
And seven Dust Bowl droughts
Floods, locusts and tornadoes
But I don't have any doubts.
We're all a part of history
Why Old Glory waves to show
How far along we've come 'til now
How far we've got to go.

It's been hard work but every time
We get into a fix
Let's think of what our children faced
In two - ought - seven - six.
It's up to us, to pave the way
With our blood and sweat and tears.
For we must be doin' somethin' right
To last 200 years.

-Haven Hamilton

Architectural Voyeurism No. 13

400 15th street 7am: A solitary worker sits and waits for the rest of the finishing team to arrive. The extended robotic arm of the concrete pumper truck casts its morning shadow against the cinder block wall of the neighboring building.

Sunday, May 04, 2008



Robert D. LiMandri© is "Kawaii"

Sorry Bob, I couldn't resist.

Fear of Open Spaces
When you go to the MURAKAMI© show at the Brooklyn Museum, I recommend you skip the usual elevator ride and take the back staircase instead. There you will find the makeshift storage area for all of Takashi's very well crafted plywood packing crates. The ones fabricated to safely transport more than 90 of his life's works.

This side up.

More than 18,500 square feet of the Brooklyn Museum's gallery floor/wall space have been wallpapered with his trademarked cartoon images of tearful flowers, psychedelic mushrooms, and the mouse-like creature, Mr. DOB .

In contrast, the stacked wooden boxes, in a multitude of shapes and sizes, offers a welcome respite from the Horror Vacui one finds on display upstairs. You certainly won't have to deal with the crowds.

Enough wooden boxes to make even Donald Judd envious, and he's been dead since 1994.
Here's a great time lapsed video of "Mr. Pointy" being installed in the Museum's ground floor entrance lobby. Behind every genius...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

20 Jackson Place Ordered to Stop Work

Almost as soon as the excavating work for the new foundation started, it stopped. The NYC Buildings Department has shut down the entire site until further notice.

Understanding Your ECB Violation

"B25 27-201 Work does not conform to approved plans"

Provision of Law: §27-201 Compliance with application, plans, etc.- All work shall conform to the approved application and accompanying plans and papers, and any approved amendments thereto.

Background: Construction inspectors issue this violation when the condition at the location does not match what is in the application (drawings, etc). This violation is issued either as a result of a complaint, as a result of a scheduled inspection for an application, as part of a "sweep" or as part of a review of previously issued violations. No work can be conducted that is not included in the approved plans and application. The inspector will often include the current permit or application number as a reference for the violation.

18-20 Jackson Place!!!!!!!!!!