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April 27, 2007

Homeless flee building collapse

Mishap comes weeks before Ratner wrecking ball

NY Daily News
By Jotham Sederstrom

Portions of the historic Ward Baking Company building in Prospect Heights collapsed Thursday, raining debris on cars and forcing evacuation of a homeless shelter.
"Construction workers were working on the building, [but] I don't know in what capacity," said an FDNY spokesman who noted there were no injuries.
"There should be no further demolition on any of these buildings until an independent investigator can be called on to see what's going on here," said Patty Hagan, an opponent of the $4.2 billion project. "That building was extremely sturdy. I'd call what happened an awfully odd coincidence."

The Red Cross sought temporary homes for 90 families evacuated from the shelter.

"All of the residents of this homeless shelter are now, quite literally, out on the street with their babies in their arms," said a furious neighbor.

The Ward building, once called "the snow-white temple of bread-making cleanliness," had been a cause célèbre for preservationists. Its terra cotta-tiled facade was cited by the Municipal Art Society and considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. ...
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, whose name is scrawled on the building in graffiti form that reads "Hakeem [heart] Ratner," stopped short of calling for a demolition freeze or an independent monitor.


Posted by lumi at April 27, 2007 11:02 AM