The Real Deal New York

Take a seat: Trump re-installs benches at namesake tower

City launched probe after 22-foot stone bench was replaced by sales counter for campaign swag
July 22, 2016 08:33AM

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Donald Trump and Trump Towerat 725 Fifth Avenue in Midtown

You could say that Donald Trump has made the lobby of his namesake tower legal again. Amid a city probe, the GOP presidential candidate had several contested public benches re-installed in the lobby of Trump Tower.

The workers installed new benches in recent weeks — four six-foot metal benches, in fact, to replace the 22-foot stone bench that mysteriously disappeared, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The stone bench was part of a deal Trump made with the city decades ago to create a public space in the tower in exchange for the right to construct a larger building. The issue flared up in recent weeks after the bench disappeared from the Fifth Avenue building and a 40-foot counter selling Trump-branded swag was installed in its place.

That set into motion the city’s inquiry into whether the GOP presidential candidate had been using Trump Tower’s public space for campaign events.

Last month, the Trump Organization TRData LogoTINY was fined $10,000 for removing the bench, which Trump agreed to install in exchange for being permitted to add 210,873 square feet to the 58-story tower. The organization had previously been fined $4,000 for the same infraction.

Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump, previously insisted the building was in “full compliance” with all statutes. [WSJ] — E.B. Solomont