JPMorgan HQ project still shut after worker’s death

Department of Buildings still investigating fatal fall by carpenter

270 Park Avenue
270 Park Avenue (Google Maps, Getty)

One week after a construction worker fell to his death at JPMorgan Chase’s new headquarters, the skyscraper project remains largely shut down.

On March 24, a carpenter in his mid 50s lost his footing while working on the 12th floor of 270 Park Avenue, according to the Department of Buildings. He fell 20 feet and was pronounced dead at the scene, triggering an investigation and a stop-work order.

As of Friday, the agency had partially lifted the stop work order to allow the project’s general contractor, AECOM Tishman Construction, to perform safety-related measures and housekeeping work. Some foundation work is being performed by a separate contractor.

Officials are still investigating what led to the fatality.

The New York City District of Carpenters identified the worker as Wilbert Drummond, a 25-year member of the union who worked for Certified Interiors, a subcontractor that was doing core and shell work at the Park Avenue tower.

“To all who knew him, he was a quiet man, a talented carpenter, a hard worker and a dedicated member of our great union,” Joseph Geiger, executive-secretary treasurer of the District Council, said in a statement. “Day in and day out, Wilbert always looked out for the best interest of his crew, while producing some of the most iconic buildings in the city.”

Representatives for JPMorgan and AECOM Tishman said the companies are saddened by the death and are working city agencies to determine what went wrong.

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Certified Interiors did not immediately return a request for comment.

When complete, the 60-story office tower is expected to rise 1,388 feet and span 2.5 million square feet.

The project was the first to take advantage of the 2017 rezoning of Midtown East, which was expected to spur modernizations of the neighborhood’s dated buildings and the development of millions of square feet of new office space.

City officials are now considering changing the zoning in the area again to produce more housing, given the prevalence of remote work.

JPMorgan Chase’s new headquarters can house up to 14,000 employees and is slated for completion in 2025.

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