Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Notes on the Clinton Hill Collapse

I got a call from a friend whose family owns a building on Myrtle Avenue between Hall and Ryerson. They are two doors down from the building that collapsed. My friend and her mom were there with City engineers yesterday, assessing the threat of possible damage to their building. At present, it appears no significant immediate damage and it sounded as though the engineers were hopeful although the building, 491, will probably require shoring up from inside. Residents and the ground floor business are still being asked to stay away.

The Purple Nail Salon that inhabits the storefront in this building along Clinton Hill's busy commercial strip, remains closed. The business owner had just made a significant investment to upgrade the shop, so they are hoping that the current closing will be temporary and brief.

Brooklyn Beat and family had a home on Hall Street below Myrtle from 1989 - 1999. We passed by the neighborhood earlier this month on our way to a baby shower in East Williamsburgh and were amazed at the huge apartment tower going up near the corner of Myrtle and Hall, a couple of doors down from John's Luncheonette and Donut shop. The building was erected in what was formerly a warehouse space. Relative to the rest of the block, it is a giant edifice in this otherwise realtively low-rise nabe.

While the building that fell, 493, is reported to have had a long crack in its facade, perhaps a decade in the making, and possibly unregulated renovation-construction had occurred as well, one may wonder if the adjacent construction of the large apartment tower in anyway contributed to infrastructural weaknesses, that in some way worsened 493's own (according to Department of Buildings) apparently shakey situation. Hopefully the situation is now stabilized.

Details: NY TImes Fort Greene-Clinton Hill blog:

http://fort-greene.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/vesper-building-on-myrtle-collapses-no-major-injuries/

Photos;check out Geralyn Shukwit’s album here:
http://www.eyemaze.net/journey/

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