Woman killed by falling façade at Himmel + Meringoff’s Midtown office building

DOB is inspecting 729 Seventh Avenue’s façade

Dec.December 17, 2019 02:08 PM
729 Seventh Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

729 Seventh Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

A 60-year-old woman on Tuesday was struck and killed by a piece of façade that fell off a building near 49th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Police said in a statement that around 10:45 a.m. they received a report of an unresponsive woman with head trauma near 152 West 49th Street. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Department of Buildings said its engineers were at the site to inspect the structure of 729 Seventh Avenue and investigate the cause of the accident. Police also said the investigation was ongoing.

“This is a tragedy, and the family and friends of the victim are in our thoughts,” said DOB spokesperson Abigail Kunitz. “No pedestrian should be at risk from dangerous façade conditions.”

The woman who died in the incident was Erica Tishman, an architect who was vice president at Zubatkin Owner Representation LLC, the New York Post reported.

Zubatkin, which declined to comment to The Real Deal, is a project management and owner representation firm with an office on West 52nd Street.

The building, owned by Himmel + Meringoff Properties, stands 15 stories tall.

“We are saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family,” a representative for the landlord said in a statement. “The company will fully cooperate with the City in the ongoing matter.”

In April the landlord was cited by the DOB for failing to maintain the exterior of the property. The filing notes “damaged terra cotta” above the 15th floor in several locations, “which poses a falling hazard for pedestrians.”

Property owners of buildings taller than six stories are required to have the exterior walls inspected every five years. The last such report was filed in 2013, according to the DOB Now site.

In 2018 Himmel + Meringoff secured a $60 million refinancing of the mixed-use office property from Signature Bank.

The New York Post first reported this story.

Kathryn Brenzel contributed reporting. 

Update: This story had been updated to include a comment from Himmel + Meringoff.

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