Can We Have Some Love for Sidewalk Sheds?

Lately we’ve had a lot of negative remarks on Open Thread Wednesday — see here and here — some of them by Yours Truly, about sidewalk sheds or sidewalk bridges (sometimes mistakenly called “scaffolding” — that’s what goes above them), especially about those that are seen to have outlasted their neighbors’ patience, if not that of the Department of Buildings. Now PIX 11 has a story about how a sidewalk shed at 16 Court Street, the skyscraper office building at the southern corner of Court and Montague streets, may have saved the life of a woman who was passing on the Court Street side. A heavy piece of stone fell from the building’s façade. It was caught by a lintel, and a steel bar of the sidewalk shed, but broke an office window at the building’s second floor. Because of the break in the roof, some debris, including broken glass from the window, did fall on the sidewalk and on a woman walking there. She was hospitalized with what the PIX 11 story calls “non-life-threatening injuries.” According to the PIX 11 story, “[p]ictures from the NYC Department of Buildings show the sidewalk shed and scaffolding kept the stone from coming down onto the sidewalk.” Had that happened, the woman would likely have been killed.

You can see a photo of the fallen stone, wedged above sidewalk level, in Mary Frost’s Eagle story.

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