1955 Steel Worker on Socony Mobil Building
Bill Cunningham, Editta Sherman on the Train to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, ca. 1972
FDNY firefighters at a 3-alarm fire in Queens, 2009.
Love you guys!
FDNY members faced freezing temperatures and high wind as they worked for a second day at the site of the East Harlem 5-alarm fire and building collapse on March 13. More photos on Twitter, @FDNY.
An explosion in Harlem this morning that led to the collapse of two five-story buildings may have been caused by a gas leak. The New York Times reports that tenants smelled gas last night, but went to sleep when they couldn’t find the source and the smell dissipated. And a Con Edison spokesperson told the Timesthat a resident who lives near the affected buildings called the utility at 9:13 this morning—about 20 minutes before the explosion—to report a strong gas smell.*
This may be a warning for New York City and other urban areas. A report out Tuesday from the Center for an Urban Future reveals that New York City’s infrastructure is extremely old. It may not be surprising, exactly, given that New York is known to have been densely populated for hundreds of years, but seeing it all laid out is still pretty stunning.
The report notes that New York’s 6,300 miles of gas mains are 56 years old and that leaks in the system cause Con Ed to lose more than 2 percent of the gas it sends to customers every year. Additionally, 60 percent of New York gas mains are made of unprotected steel or cast iron, which are no longer used in gas main fabrication because they spring too many leaks.
I’m pretty sure my old oven/apartment is the next to go…
by Bruce Davidson
Family on Sidewalk, c.1966. From East 100th Street.
Thomas Hoepker, Bike messenger on the subway train, New York City, 1986