Facade Collapse at 288 16th Street

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We just got word from a tipster that the rear facade of the building at 288 16th Street in South Slope has collapsed. Anyone know anything more about it?

Update: A neighbor emailed us to say: “According to DOB’s BIS system, FDNY called for an emergency vacate. From what I can tell there were no permits for work. The latest were plans disapproved this summer for a conversion to a one family residence. Once again, and I hate to sound like broken record, illegal work begets unsafe work. I am glad no one was hurt.”

Another neighbor emailed, “I live up the street and just took a peek. It looks like there are two brick buildings that are attached. The one not on the corner but with the entrance on 16th appears to no longer have a back wall. No bricks of the back wall are visible. You see wood studs and the like. The building on the corner looks intact and it appears firemen are standing on the deck off the second floor of the corner structure. I don’t really know what they are doing at this point. A few fire trucks remain on scene not as many as were first here. Didn’t hear anything about injuries or if other neighboring structures were affected.”

Is it just us or does it seem like these sorts of things happen too often? Click through to the jump for another view.

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10 Comment

  • actionjackson

    Rear facade. According to a Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights/South Park Slope Community Group’s newsgroups posts FDNY where there and DOB on there way. No one was injured. More info when I hear more.

  • williamsburgguys

    This must be the rear of the building. The front of 288 is flush with a brick building on its right, and the blue sided house is to its left and set much further back, not in front of the front facade.

  • Glad no one was hurt….sure dont build them like they used too

  • actionjackson

    The odd thing is if you check online, no permits. Hmmm…

  • Work has been going on illegally at this building for months.

    This was fully rented until about 4 months ago, when the entire building was vacated. Then all of the windows were covered with paper and workers began a total gut renovation. No permits were posted on the site. Trucks would pull up in the morning and guys would pull up the back panel, unload a bunch of construction materials while one guy served as a lookout, then quickly get into the building and drive the truck away. It was like this all summer. Sometimes dust would be pouring out of the windows as work progressed inside.

    I’ve called 311 and filled out forms on the DOB website several times to report this and, to my knowledge, DOB never went out to inspect. It would have been so easy to see that construction was occurring w/o permits.

    Finally, two months ago, two permits went up in the window for “boiler repair” even though this was a gut reno of a 3 story building.

    Just yesterday, a truck was unloading cinderblock into the building, which may have been what contributed to the collapse.

    I’m glad no one was injured. The whole block saw this coming a long time ago. I just wish the city had done its job.

  • minard

    the worst enemy of a historic building besides moisture, is stupidity.

  • so, one person reporting this, or maybe many, has no effect, and does not get the DOB to investigate. I’m wondering if in other neighborhoods working in concert in community groups and/or alerting elected officials can have more of an effect.