The Bronx building that had an entire corner come crashing onto the street is located in Councilwoman Pierina Sanchez's district.
Sanchez said she's heard about conditions of the 96-year-old building from its residents.
"Folks had really wide cracks in their walls and anyone who's thought about owning a home or knows homeowners, you know that's a really concerning issue that can indicate foundation issues and the like," Sanchez said.
What You Need To Know
- The engineer in charge of repairing the unsafe facade told NY1 "the facade did not fail. It was a structural failure at the first floor"
- The Department of Buildings is looking at facade drawings, filed with the city in June, showing there were areas in need of repair near the collapsed corner
- The building is 96 years old
Sanchez also chairs the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee.
“There’s still a lot of questions about what we may have missed as a city,” she said.
No one was killed in the collapse, though two people were injured in the escape.
The engineer hired by the building’s owner deemed the facade “unsafe” as early as 2020.
NY1 spoke to the engineer overseeing the facade work, Richard Koenigsberg, by phone Thursday.
“In this case, the facade did not fail, it was a structural failure at the first floor,” Koenigsberg said. “Now, if we observed conditions in 2020 that were severe enough to warrant suspecting that something like this would happen, of course we would have taken action.”
Instead, Koenigsberg suspects the problem was on the first floor—while facade repair work was being done on the floors above.
The necessary facade repair work was delayed because of COVID. In a December 2021 letter seeking an extension for a facade report, an officer of the building owner expected the repairs to be done in 12 months.
The Department of Buildings commissioner, James Oddo, told NY1 earlier this week that officials are looking at a facade repair plan, filed this past June, that indicates a crack in part of the building that collapsed.
“That repair drawing is the first time they allude to that crack,” Oddo said Tuesday. “That is problematic. Obviously, we wanted to know about that situation.”
Koenigsberg offered up a response to Oddo.
“I appreciate they’re recognizing that repair plans that were filed six months ago included repairs to this corner,” Koenigsberg said.
In reference to the June facade repair report, DOB spokesman Andrew Rudansky said, “This is one of the many factors our team of highly experienced forensic engineers are actively looking into, as part of our comprehensive investigation into this incident.”
Rudansky said the DOB is taking “a deep dive into the previous history of the property, including a review of the plans from the original construction of the building.”
Richard Lambeck, a professional engineer and former chair of construction management at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, reviewed photos filed with the city in 2021 showing cracks in the facade.
“Any place where there is at least a major crack that’s the first thing that they should evaluate,” Lambeck said. “Secondarily, they should look at all the cracks that are occurring in the building to make sure there is no indication that any future failure may occur as well.”