69 Reade Street Collapses

69reade.jpg

No one seems to know why yet, but a five-story building at 69 Reade Street in Manhattan fell down this morning. Police believe no one was inside, but are scouting with dogs nonetheless. FDNY says there are no victims on the scene.

The available city records don't tell much, except that the building was privately owned, not believed to be a multiple-dwelling unit, and allegedly vacant, though no work orders are out on it. A number of businesses have been listed at the address in recent years but have either moved or gone out of business (Zion Security, for example, removed to Murray Street four years ago).

A Times commenter who claims to work nearby says, "The people doing construction on this block seem to be cutting a lot of corners. The building at the corner of Reade and Broadway nearly toppled and is saved only by big steel girders put up on its sides because it was a landmark cast iron one."

A local Starbucks worker told the Times the collapse raised a cloud of white smoke and "she was particularly alarmed in light of the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, and the jet flyover on Monday that raised alarms." Never forget 4/25! Photo via NECN.

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