As New York City’s ubiquitous and unloved sidewalk sheds go, it was not one of the ancients, but it was definitely getting long in the tooth. Now, at the ripe age of 11, the sidewalk shed and scaffolding surrounding 280 Broadway at Chambers Street is finally coming down, Crain’s reports.
"It will be the first time a number of us have seen the building without the shed, including me," says Andrew Rudansky, senior deputy press secretary at the Department of Buildings, which has offices in the building, also known as the Sun Building because it once housed that newspaper’s offices and still sports its iconic clock with the logo “The Sun: It Shines for All.” The 150-year-old building’s Tuckahoe marble facade needed $17.8 million worth of work.
As most co-op and condo boards know, sidewalk sheds and the scaffolding above them are the result of Local Law 11, now known as the Facade Inspection and Safety Program, which requires inspection and repairs to facades of buildings taller than six stories every five years. The sheds are designed to protect pedestrians from falling debris. The law was originally passed in 1980, a year after falling masonry killed a Barnard College student named Grace Gold at the corner of Broadway and 115th Street.
Today, the sheds darken more than 300 miles of sidewalks in the five boroughs. City Councilman Ben Kallos introduced legislation that would require landlords to take down dormant sheds, but the bill has gone nowhere amid public-safety concerns and opposition from real-estate owners. As a result, some sheds can enjoy a long life. One at West 123rd Street and Lenox Avenue was taken down last year after 14 years on the job. Another, at the corner of West 115th Street and Lenox Avenue, has stayed in place with only brief interruptions since 1990, when David Dinkins was mayor of New York.
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