Woman Killed by Debris in Times Square ID’d as Architect and Former Chair of Educational Alliance

Posted on: December 19th, 2019 at 5:04 am by

City dwellers’ biggest fears came true Tuesday morning, when falling debris killed a pedestrian just north of Times Square.

It happened at 49th Street and 7th Avenue, where a piece of debris dislodged from a 17-story building that, officials told the New York Times, had recently been fined by the city for its unsafe facade.

The victim was identified as 60-year-old Erica Tishman, an architect who was a vice president at Zubatkin Owner Representation, a project management firm. Tishman also previously served as chair of the board of the Educational Alliance, among other positions.

“She was just simply indefatigable,” said Alan van Capelle, the chief executive officer of the Educational Alliance. “She had a photographic memory and could recall a conversation that took place three years ago. She understood all the lines in the budget, and wasn’t afraid to ask her friends for money to support the causes she cared about.”

The Department of Buildings confirmed that the falling debris had come from 729 Seventh Avenue, a 17-story office building with retail shops on the first floor. The agency had previously disciplined the owner, Himmel + Meringoff, for facade dangers.

From the article:

In April, inspectors at the Department of Buildings had issued a violation to the building’s owner, Himmel + Meringoff Properties, because of a “failure to maintain exterior building facade,” according to city records.

Inspectors found that terra cotta above the 15th floor was damaged and at risk of falling and injuring people on the street. The owners later paid a $1,250 fine in connection with the violation, which was listed as a Class 1 ticket, the highest level of severity.

In late November, the building, which was originally constructed around 1915, received approval to begin masonry repair work on its facade, according to city records. The building’s management told the city in November that it planned to install scaffolding up to 150 feet tall for the repairs. The scaffolding had not been installed as of Tuesday morning.

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