Monday, September 04, 2006

Tumbling Tower on Wyckoff Street (Update)

While we we anticipated writing about our Brooklyn waterfront yesterday, we were distracted by some local onshore activities on Wyckoff Street, specifically, that part of the wall of 207 Wyckoff Street had collapsed onto two cars in an adjacent parking lot.

In less than 24-hours since then, lots has changed. Around 3:00 p.m. yesterday, a large section of the Western wall on 207 Wyckoff fell onto the roof of 209 Wyckoff Street. Thankfully no one was injured, but 209 Wyckoff did sustain some significant damage to its roof. At present, the owners and one rental apartment are finding other shelter until they can get their roof cleaned and repaired. The collapse onto 209 Wyckoff Street happened approximately 12 hours after the fire department and department of buildings came to the parking lot at 205 Wyckoff Street roped part of the lot off. The second collapse caused a number of "officials" to come onto the site to make some quick assessments and recommendations. Around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, about six fire trucks, a few police cars, an EMT vehicle and firetruck with a crane came onto the scene to check on the situation. Officials from OEM and the Department of Buildings also were on the scene. After more than two hours of deliberation we are told that an official from the Department of Buildings made a decision to demolish the top floor of 207 Wyckoff Street. They also ordered all of the vehicles out of the parking lot at 205 Wyckoff Street and roped off a rather large area around 207 Wyckoff Street.

Around 9:00 this morning, a team of men from A. Russo demolition showed up on the scene. We were told that they were hired by the city to take down the top floor of 207 Wyckoff Street. Upon arriving at the scene, A. Russo had recommended to the city that "the whole building come down." From their point of view, the entire building is unstable and should come down. A. Russo told us that there is no roof left on the building and what is left has collapsed onto itself.

We were told that the engineer on the scene on Sunday that ordered only the top floor to come down was a representative from Queens, so he was not authorized to make the decision to order the entire building down. We were also told that on Tuesday, Sept. 5, a Department of Buildings official from Brooklyn would come onto the scene and determine how much of of the building should come down, and how to secure what is left. We understand that the only work orders from the City have been to remove the top floor and to construct a protective fence around the building.

As of this posting, the good men of A. Russo have removed all of the debris that fell onto the townhouse at 209 Wyckoff Street and are currently working from a crane to remove any loose debris. They plan to build a protective shed around the building today and, if they have time, start to demolish the top floor of 207 Wyckoff. This could all change tomorrow when more "officials" come to Wyckoff Street to evaluate what should happen with the building.


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