August 25th - August 29th, 2008
FDNY Considers Changing Policy
August 25- In the wake of the FDNY report on the Deutsche bank fire, the City is considering changing its policy to require firefighters to leave a dangerous situation when their supervisor’s air supply runs out. According to Newsday, that policy is one of 32 recommendations about safety, emergency and inspection practices that the FDNY focused on in its report. According to the 176 page report, a series of mistakes, damaged sprinklers, a severed standpipe and blocked exits contributed to the deaths of the two firefighters. The report was handed to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office which is investigating the fire.
Fire Caused Collapse
August 25 – Federal investigators say fires and not secret explosives set by conspirators brought down the 47 story 7 World Trade Center 7 hours after the twin towers collapsed. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology used videos, photographs, building design documents and a computer model to determine that the fatal blow came when the 13th floor collapsed, weakening a critical steel support column that let to the building’s collapse. The team said this was the first time in the world that a fire caused the total failure of a skyscraper. Skeptics have long claimed that there is other evidence suggesting explosives were used in the building.
Shanksville Memorial Dedicated
August 25 – Approximately 1,000 people attended a dedication ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to see a cross made of steel from the World Trade Center mounted on top of a platform shaped like the Pentagon. The name of each victim of the 9-11 attacks was read aloud. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into the ground in Shanksville on September 11, killing all 40 people on board. The 2 ton, 14 foot beam of steel which was pulled from the rubble of the north tower was driven 300 miles from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania, escorted by hundreds of firefighters riding motorcycles.
Memorial Steel on Display
August 26 – Giants and Jets fans will be able to sign their names on two pieces of steel that will be used to build the September 11 memorial. Newsday reports two 37 foot beams, weighing nearly 4 tons each, will be on display at Giants stadium on September 4th; the steel will also be on display at the stadium for the Jets home opener September 14th.
Alternative Designs Considered
August 28 – There are two alternatives under consideration to simplify the design of the Transit Hub. According to The New York Times, the Port Authority may go with standard column and beam construction instead of the long spans and cantilevers proposed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Neither version would eliminate the ribbed and winged roof, but the underground mezzanine may undergo some changes. One version would maintain the mezzanine as an uninterrupted column free space; an alternative calls for a more traditional column supported structure.
Extended Construction to Resume at Goldman Sachs Site
August 30 – Construction will resume on evenings and weekends on the Goldman Sachs building. The company halted work during those hours after a sheet of metal flew off the building and landed on a Little League field in May. Tishman Construction, according to the Downtown Express plans to seek variances to work on weekends and in the evening this fall. The Downtown Soccer League and the Downtown Little League told the paper they plan to fight against any variance.
Commercial Leasing Slows
August 30 – The Downtown commercial leasing market slowed during July. The monthly report from CB Richard Ellis show only 320,000 feet was leased; that compares to 1.07 million square feet signed in June. The July numbers were down 29% when compared to its five year monthly average.
9-11 Volunteer Dies
August 30 – Funeral arrangements are being made for yet another 9-11 volunteer. 54 year old Gregory Quibell of North Babylon had logged in hundreds of hours at Ground Zero and lost his battle with leukemia and pulmonary fibrosis on Wednesday, according to Newsday. A documentary about his life, “Save the Brave”, premiered last night at the Bellmore theatre in Bellmore.
Lehman Layoffs Expected
August 30 – Lehman Brothers Holdings announced it will be laying off 1,500 people. Several published reports say Lehman has had four rounds of layoffs totaling about 2,100 employees.