Friday, August 13, 2010

The Other Rear Window...

...and get your minds out of the gutter.

The view NW from my office is the previously-posted view of the new construction at the WTC site. The view due west (from the window closest to my desk) is the demolition of the Banker's Trust Trading Building / Deutschbank Building on Liberty Street.

The overview (click to engorge):

The tall building dead center and the similar one to the right are World Financial Center 1 and 2, on landfill west of the WTC site that was created with the excavation spoil from the WTC. The gothic building in front of WFC1 is 90 West Street, the building that was most heavily damaged on 9-11 that was repaired rather than demolished. The "construction" in front of 90 West is the demolition of Deutschbank. This was a 50-story building and is now down to about 6 stories.

The concrete is broken up, the steel is burned off, and the dumpsters full o' crap are hoisted down to the street. This building received some serious structural damaged on 9-11 - a chunk of steel falling from the south tower gouged Deutschbank's north face for about eight stories, cutting a dozen beams and destroying one column - but that was repaired by 12/01. The glass facade was pretty much shattered, and this allowed rain in, and the interior of the building turned into a huge mold farm. Since (a) no one really wanted the building, (b) Deutschbank was able to claim it as an insurance loss, and (c) it's in a prime spot for redevelopment, it's coming down.

The geniuses first hired to demo it managed to create an interior maze (the steel fireproofing is asbestos, so the whole building had to be abated) and cut the standpipes, leading to the deaths of two firefighters in the summer of 2007. The current demo contractor is being ever so careful.


Rusty Shackleford said...

The smell of clove cigarettes from 90 West must be overpowering when the wind is right.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

blog-pimp for those of you with a taste for demolition porn

Oh, yeah, baby, get that beam down!

N__B said...

Oh, yeah, baby, get that beam down!

She said, while licking her lips, "Can I help you de-erect that?"

Whale Chowder said...

You guys are sick.

Cool pictures, Mr. __B. The last decade in that location must've been amazing in all sorts of ways.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

OT Question for N__B,

I just received a letter from ASCE presenting me with the opportunity to give them $157. Given that I only qualify under the letter "E" - I'm not sure how useful this would be for me.

Is the magazine any good?

Incidentally, I ain't one of those 'puter "engineers" either. I'm an enviro (quelle surprise) that's just started moving away from chem stuff and into renewable energy.

N__B said...

ASCE membership is one of those things that I ask myself about every year. The mag is about 40% eviro, 20% transportation, and 40% structural these days, and since the structural is 75% new buildings, I get damned little out of it. They cover chemical enviro pretty well, and some on windmills and the like. The right-wing dinosaurs on the letters page are good for laughs.

Willy said...

Monitoring asbestos abatement activities paid for a good portion of my home.

Can I have more details of the firefighters deaths, please? Sounds like a fire started in containment, sprinklers and standpipes disabled, and some firefighters got lost in the poly jungle. (Ya know, smart contractors spray paint exit arrows on their poly.)

If it was a fire then I'm also curious as to how it started since most containments are very wet and humid (considering the amount of water they use to keep the ACM dust down.)

N__B said...

Willy -

You hit it almost exactly.

A pretty good summary:

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

Thanks N__B. Maybe I'll send them a check for 40% of the fee.

Incidentally, in New Brunswick liquor sales have been gobbled up by the state^H^H^H^H^Hprovince. Gubmint run socialistic dens of mooching civil servants sell all teh booze in the province. Out of stores called nb.

N__B said...

I am not a newbrunswickianerite.

Willy said...

Thanks. I read just about every article linked, especially this one:

Damn. Started in a decon room. Paper towels, water, electricity, airflow.

Sad that they died in a vacant building under demo. Should've just let it burn. I know that's not part of the calculus a firefighter uses, where the instinct is to run towards the problem rather than away from it.

I need a new irony meter after I read the name of the abatement contractor: John Galt Corp.

N__B said...

The problem with letting it burn is that a number of occupied buildings are less than 50 feet away, across the street. It's the reason that NYC has some of the strictest fire control laws in U.S. construction - any fire has an easy route to spread.