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Another Construction-Worker Death

This time it was a worker at a tower on 41st Street and Eleventh Avenue. It’s unclear why the scaffolding gave way, but the result was a deadly plunge of 40 stories.

By Chris Rovzar

Breaking: Construction Workers Return to Trump Soho

Construction workers have returned to Trump Soho, a little over a month after DiFama Concrete worker Yurly Vanschytskyy fell 40 stories to his death off the building, after a wooden mold in which he was tamping down concrete collapsed. According to Newsday, the Department of Buildings is allowing Bovis, the contractor overseeing the project, to work on the first 23 floors, provided Bovis employ a full-time safety manager, train their workers better, and swaddle the upper floors of the building in scaffolding and netting. Donald Trump has never made a statement regarding the accident. Work resumes on lower floors of Trump SoHo condo after fatal fall [Newsday] Related: Intel's coverage of the accident at Trump SoHo

Raising the Standard

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The High Line, as the headline read on Adam Sternbergh's May cover story for New York, brings good things to life. One such good thing: André Balazs's High Line–straddling Standard Hotel, which, according to the photo that showed up on Curbed today, seems well along its way to fruition. As it happens, a Daily Intel spy tells us it's magnificently behind schedule and overbudget. But, then, it's in the meatpacking district; of course it's too expensive. High Line Construction Chronicles: Standard Anything But [Curbed] Related: The High Line: It Brings Good Things to Life [NYM]

Freedom Tower Peeks Over Ground-Zero Sidewalks?

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Oh, the excitement back in January, when Freedom Tower construction finally — five-plus years after the attacks — reached the towering height of eight feet below sidewalk level. The milestone was marked by a festive "Metro" section article in the Times, explaining just where you had to stand, and just how you had to crane your neck, to get a view of this feat of construction. So it's with even greater exultation that we discovered this picture on Curbed today, which seems to indicate that construction has — are you sitting down? — actually progressed to above ground! Of course, the Curbed boys speculate what we're seeing is merely a few Portajohns. Perhaps. But, even so, hey, we'll take what we can get. WTC Chaos Update: Something Rises Above Grade! [Curbed] Earlier: The Freedom Tower Exists for Anyone Who Truly Believes In It

New ‘Times’ HQ: Mo' Subcontractors, Mo' Problems

The new New York Times tower is shiny and pretty and environmentally friendly and all that. But, as it turns out, it's also a hulking mass of conflicts of interest. For the last year or so, every time the paper so much as passingly mentions the Atlantic Yards project it feels compelled to make the ritual disclosure that, indeed, Bruce Ratner's Forest City Ratner was also responsible for the new 52-story headquarters. And now that it's turning out that at least some of the blame for the botched Deutsche Bank dismantling that led to two firefighters' deaths belongs to a company called Safeway Environmental, a new standard disclaimer was introduced today:
(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.)
What's coming next? Did Roger Stone lobby for tax breaks on the new building? Did Joe Bruno fly down for the day to have a meeting about it? Do employees feel violated as neighbors peer through the glass walls at what's going on inside? We so hope David Berkowitz used to deliver mail to whatever stood on the Eighth Avenue site back in the seventies. That'd be an awesome disclaimer. Obscure Company Is Behind 9/11 Demolition Work [NYT]

What Does a $91 Million Train Station Look Like?

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Because there's news today that the new Metro-North station to be built at Yankee Stadium, set to open in spring 2009, will cost $91 million, twice its initial price tag, with the city kicking in some $39 million, and because we also like showing you renderings of construction projects under way throughout our fair city, we herewith present a sketch of the new station — that bridge on the right heads east from the station, above East 153rd Street, and lets fans off behind home plate of the current stadium, which will still leave them more than a few blocks from the new stadium — provided by the MTA. For what the thing costs, we hope the real one's at least in color. —Alec Appelbaum Next Stop: Yanks [Metro NY]

A Bad Day for Daniel Goldstein*

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• The key lawsuit seeking to block Atlantic Yards has been dismissed on a technicality. A group of tenants facing eminent-domain relocation failed to convince a judge they weren't offered comparable housing. [NYP] • Mark Green, the new president and one of the marquee voices of Air America, interviewed Michael Bloomberg for the network's big relaunch next week; the ex-rivals were reportedly quite chummy, trading bad puns and agreeing on most of Bloomberg's mayoral policies. [NYT] • This is exactly what the torturously slow dismantling of the Deutsche Bank building was supposed to prevent: A fifteen-foot-long pipe fell 35 stories from the half-stripped skyscraper, plunging into a neighboring firehouse and sending two firefighters to the hospital. [NYDN] • Bail for the domestic-enslaving Long Island couple was set at $2.5 million for the wife and $1 million for the husband; meanwhile, a raid on the mansion is said to have uncovered the instruments of torture, which include knives and a rolling pin. [Newsday] • And, a bomb scare shook up an elementary school in the Putnam County town of Kent after a suspicious and fragrant package was delivered to the building. But not to fear: After a Hazmat team and bomb squad got involved, an X-ray revealed it was twelve pounds of marijuana. [WNBC] * Or maybe not a bad day at all. As explained here, we totally misread this news.

Say Good Night, Alice, As Construction Work Starts

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It's been a big few days for the reconstruction of Lincoln Center, and last night Center president Reynold Levy and emcee Tom Brokaw hosted a "Good Night, Alice" party to mark the closure of Alice Tully Hall for renovation. Wynton Marsalis, Philip Glass, and Kelli O'Hara performed, and there were fireworks, but otherwise this was simply a dressed-up version of college kids hosting one last blowout before they moved out of their rented apartment. There were flasks of cosmopolitans and dirty martinis distributed — and even allowed (gasp!) inside the theater — plus appetizers served in construction-themed lunch pails. (Surprisingly, the general letting-down-of-hair resulted in the audible shattering of only four martini glasses.) Over the next two years, crews will install fancy glass walls overlooking Broadway, weather-protected bleachers, and even a bar, which led Levy to pledge Lincoln Center wouldn't "close it until you do" each night. One important thing won't change about the hall, though: its cushy leg room. The six-foot-two Tully ensured there'd be at least one theater in Manhattan where she'd be comfortable, Levy promised. "Some people want Alice Tully back so she can design airplanes," he added. "Especially coach class." —Jocelyn Guest Earlier: Lincoln Center Holds a Press Conference on Overhaul, Tells Us Mostly What We Already Knew; Also: LEDs!

Lincoln Center Holds a Press Conference on Overhaul, Tells Us Mostly What We Already Knew; Also: LEDs!

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Will LEDs and info displays seem as quaint in the 2050s as the white-walled, elevated Lincoln Center seems now? Not if architect Liz Diller has the touch her clients say she does. At a construction update today, Diller detailed how Diller Scofidio & Renfro, with FXFowle and other design specialists, plans to festoon every border of the twelve-institution center with a constant stream of showtimes and words as part of the $900 million effort to refresh the fifties-era complex. After recounting already-established plans at the press conference — a new lawn, outdoor restaurants, a sexed-up fountain — Diller told us more about the electronic displays, which, she said, will really grab passersby at key spots on 65th Street and on Broadway.

Bruce Ratner vs. the Homeless, Too

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• 350 residents were ordered out of a homeless shelter after a parapet fell off a Ratner-condemned building next door. Even the dourest pessimists at Develop Don't Destroy didn't think mass displacement at Atlantic Yards would already be an issue. [NYT] • So that's why the City Council wants to ban metal bats: An assistant baseball coach at East Side's Norman Thomas H.S. allegedly went medieval with one, clubbing two kids over the head for cheering on a rival team. [NYDN] • Not a week after a court confirmed activists' right to film cops at protests, the NYPD is asking a judge to give officers back the right to film protesters. Everyone's a damn auteur in this city. [amNY] • Asian American groups are steadily mounting an Imus Redux; CBS Radio is under pressure to can shock jocks "JV and Elvis" for prank-calling a Chinese restaurant with "shlimp flied lice" jokes. Shouldn't we be addressing the larger issue of why prank-calling restaurants is a marketable career option? [MediaChannel] • And Jon Corzine says "I'm the most blessed person who ever lived." Point taken, J.C.: The man is walking and talking two weeks after meeting a guardrail at 91mph. [WNBC]

And So the Demolition Begins

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The battle of Atlantic Yards has moved from the rarefied arena of the literary think piece through various political fights and ongoing court battles to, now, the simplest setup possible: In one corner, protesters; in the other, bulldozers. Yesterday, Forest City Ratner began knocking down four of the fifteen buildings around Flatbush Avenue it has slated for demolition. About a hundred Develop Don't Destroy stalwarts — that's the group's turnout estimate — met the machines with some chants and signage, although no one tried to actually halt the demolition. The DDDB word is that Ratner is being hasty on purpose — to create a sense that Atlantic Yards is a fait accompli, even with an eminent-domain lawsuit hanging over it and a more thorough environmental review being demanded as we speak. It's hard to shake a guilty feeling that, crude as the tactic is, Ratner may be succeeding. There's something pre-deflated about a protest sign reading, as one did yesterday, "These Demolitions Are Premature." Premature?! How about "illegal"? "Criminal"? We know they're not, technically. But you're a protest sign; you can say these things! Develop Don't Destroy Release [DDDB.net]

PlaNYC 2007

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Dear Mr. Mayor: We're pleased that you and your planning department are working to ensure New York remains pleasantly habitable in the year 2030. But we think it'd be pretty great if you worked to ensure New York is pleasantly habitable in 2007, too. And you know what might help that? Not sending heavy machinery to tear up streets in residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night, at hours when normal people — like, say, those who have to get up early in the morning to edit Websites for well-respected city magazines — are trying to sleep. (Crazy, right?) We know what you'll say. You'll say you do these things overnight so as not to interfere with traffic. But explain this: Why do you expect traffic to successfully navigate itself around yet another Italian-sausage-and-cheap-socks mid-afternoon street fair but not around this? Or, at least, can't you notify residents that the work will be coming, so we can perhaps make plans to sleep elsewhere? Because it certainly isn't fun to find the above scene — be sure to note the two men with jackhammers — 50 feet outside your bedroom window at around 11:30 at night. That's all, Mr. Mayor. Hope you slept well. Best, Daily Intel Daily Intel's coverage of PlaNYC

Sam Mason Waits for His Wood

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It's time for another Grub Street check-in with Sam Mason, the former wd-50 pastry chef who's working (and working and working) to open his own Soho spot, Tailor. Today we learn of yet another hiccup. Who knew you have to wait three days before laying hardwood floors? But there's an upside to that delay: It gave Sam time to go shopping for sexy Japanese knives. Everything you ever wanted to know about humidity, grout, and Japanese carbon steel awaits in The Launch at Grub Street. Sam Mason on the Sexiness of Japanese Steel [Grub Street]

French ‘Vision Machine’ Starts Rising in Chelsea

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"Nothing has ever been built like it in NYC," says Jean Nouvel's publicist of a project the French starchitect has designed for 19th Street and the West Side Highway, and though it's a publicist's job to say that, she might actually be right. Nouvel, a perennially mentioned Pritzker Prize contender, announced that construction has begun — and released the first renderings — on the same day Richard Rogers won the 2007 prize. Is it a recyclable takeout rice container? No, it's a "Vision Machine," an energy-efficient skyscraper in which, to quote the publicist, "every single pane has been figured out to correspond to an interior space and no two are alike."

Once More Into the Service Road — and Into West Street, Too

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In 2002, with the "primary cleanup" of ground zero barely over, the city quickly built and paved a service road connecting the World Trade Center site to West Street. Only gradually, and without much help from the media, it is becoming clear exactly how massive a screwup it was. Since Mayor Bloomberg reordered the search for human remains last October, medical examiners freed 445 "potential" body parts from beneath the road. Finally, after months and months of new grisly discoveries, the city is facing the obvious: A new, large-scale excavation is in order.