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News:

Early Hurricane Sandy Winds Partially Collapse Crane at NYC "Billionaire's Haven"

By Cathleen McGuigan, Tudor Van Hampton, and Esther D'Amico
October 29, 2012
Photo by Cathleen McGuigan

The crane atop One57, the rising $1.5 billion residential tower designed by Christian de Portzamparc opposite Carnegie Hall, has fallen over in the winds of Hurricane Sandy, leaving it dangling dangerously 1,000 feet over West 57th Street in the heart of Manhattan. Firetrucks and police cars have swarmed the area and closed off several blocks to all pedestrians and traffic as the winds increase.

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Terry McGettigan, a tower crane expert in Seattle with 36 years of operating, maintenance and inspection experience, told Record's sister publication, ENR, in a phone interview that the crane, believed to be a Favelle Favco Model 440 luffing jib unit, is in a precarious situation that should be handled with extreme care.

"That thing is not hanging on by much," said McGettigan on October 29, responding to news photographs and live television coverage not long after the 1,000-ft-high crane's jib was blown backwards over its counterweight. "There is a possibility that the jib could come down."

The New York City Fire Dept. said it was on the scene with other city officials and in the process of securing the area around the tower. FDNY received a call about the incident at 2:32 P.M. on October 29 and was on the scene with other emergency personnel.

Owned by Extell Development, the Manhattan structure is scheduled for completion next year. The tower is an 882,141-sq-ft mixed-use structure that includes 95 luxury condominium residences, a hotel, and parking spaces. The New York Times has called the 75-story, 1,004 foot-tall building overlooking Central Park a “Billionaire’s Haven,” where many apartments have already sold for tens of millions of dollars, and one for more than $95 million. Extell and the Department of Buildings were not available for comment. Lend Lease, the project's construction manager, did not respond to requests for comment.

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