Work halted after wall collapses at former mission in Murray Hill
A Murray Hill buildings wall partially collapsed yesterday afternoon during construction work, damaging an adjacent building and causing temporary transit delays and traffic problems, officials said.
Part of a wall that connects the two buildings collapsed about 3 p.m. while construction workers poured concrete on the roof of the building at 135 E. 36th St. The building next door, at 133 E. 36th St.,, received minor structural damage, and while no one was injured, residents there were evacuated as a precaution.
Everyone ran down real fast10 plus workers," said Joe Welles, a doorman at the Carlton Regency, an apartment tower across the street. "There was a little bit of panic."
The incident temporarily shut down Lexington between East 35th and 37th streets until just before 5 p.m. New York City Transit slowed down No. 4, 5 and 6 trains, which run under Lexington Avenue, as a precaution until just after 4 p.m.
The buildings department halted work at 135 E. 36th Street, which once was a mission for Namibia and is still owned by the African republic. Workers are adding a sixth floor to the structure. It was given a citation for failing to protect the adjacent property.
The building has several open buildings department violations, including another citation for failing to protect an adjacent property at about the same time last year.
Neither building was in danger of collapse.
Mission representatives could not be reached for comment. Some residents said the building is considered an eyesore and has been under construction for at least a year after a fire several years ago.
It makes me nervous, cause its close by, said Michael Ross, 43, a freelance designer who lives nearby. Anything close by hits closer to home its where you do your errands all the time.
Photo: Scaffolding covers 135 E. 36th St. yesterday. A wall in the building partially collapsed during construction work, which the city has halted. (Aline E. Reynolds)