Falling Glass - Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal

Falling Glass

August 27th, 2008 | Category: As I See It, Uncategorized

How clumsy have they gotten in the Big Apple where it seems glass is raining out of the sky?

Call it coincidence, but large lites of glass have been falling from buildings in New York City at an alarming rate in the last couple of weeks. What is going on? Are glaziers getting clumsy and unable to hold the panes of glass?

There was the 1,500-pound glass lite that fell from One Times Square, a 23-story structure at the corner of Broadway and 43rd Street. There were no reported injuries, but Broadway between 42nd and 43rd was closed off while emergency personnel determined that the area was safe for vehicles and pedestrians.

Prior to that, a 65-square-foot of glass fell from One Bryant Park, which is located at 42nd and Sixth Avenue. Two people suffered minor injuries in that incident. That building is currently under construction and partially occupied. According to press reports, the glass unit was being put into place with a winch when it became loose and fell.

Also at 42nd and Sixth Avenue the old Verizon Building, whose proper address is 1095 Avenues of the Americas, had an incident. In April, also on a weekday morning, much of a 4-by-8-foot panel fell from a 27th floor window of the structure. No injuries were reported in that accident.

Very often today larger lites of glass are being utilized for high-rise tower curtainwalls. This, coupled with the faster demands put on construction, are leading to more construction accidents of all kinds.

It makes me think twice when walking down the street near construction sites.

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