Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nothing But A Slap On The Hand! Robert Scarano And The D.O.B.

(photo credit: the Real Deal)
Robert Scarano

(Picture credit: New York Times)
Scarano Does Manhattan

Scarano Does Brooklyn

For the last two days, I have posted my own personal reaction to a Daily News article
concerning the agreement signed by New York City's Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster to keep quiet about architect Robert Scarano's misdeeds in exchange for him giving up his right to self-certify.
A lot of readers left comments doubting that an architect bears all the responsibility for mistakes and accidents on a building site. Certainly, everyone involved, architect, owner, as well as contractor should make sure that all the rules are followed and conditions are safe.
However, Architect Scarano has consistently pushed the envelope and played on the edge. In his own words:
"You have to be able to take a certain level of risk; if not, you won't get ahead -- you'll be paralyzed and never really do anything."***
Below is very insightful and helpful comment by Williamsburg resident, OnNYTurf contributor and New York Community Council President Phil dePaolo examing Robert Scarano's unusual relationship with the Buildings Department and his ultimate responsibility as an architect. He was kind enough to allow me to post it here on this blog.

By Phil dePaolo
Many projects that Scarano's firm is the architect on record (and perhaps also the building consultant) are full of 311 complaints, many of which have DOB and ECB violations. While he is not doing the demo, pouring and nailing personally, he is aligned with sub-par contractors endangering workers and adjoining properties.

Architect Robert Scarano signed a Buildings Department statement of responsibility for work at the 733 Ocean Parkway site where Anthony Duncan was killed by falling concrete blocks.
Scarano was in charge of the underpinning shoring up of a neighbor's foundation during excavation that Duncan was doing when he was killed.
Though city regulations allow it, Scarano should never have signed off on the underpinning work because he is an architect and not a structural engineer.
Faulty underpinning work is a "huge problem" in the city's construction boom, and is often the cause of accidents and property damage.
Scarano also failed to submit required plans detailing how the underpinning was to be safely done. He is under investigation by the Buildings Department for zoning and building code abuses.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz presented a "Brooklyn Icon Award" to Scarano, saying he "truly represented faith in Brooklyn." "And keep doing what you've been doing, creating a unique architectural statement for Brooklyn," Markowitz said at the event, a gathering of developers, architects and builders which took place at Scarano Architects' DUMBO offices.

This to me was the hot knife in the back! Forget the buildings that collapsed, the workers that died and the families he displaced, Scarano was brilliant that got away with it for so long. This has fueled his arrogance to this moment.
Now we have DOB commissioner Patricia Lancaster again greasing the skids for Mr. Scarano. She has failed time and time again to do her job. The Finger building would be 50ft right now if she did her job!

Two other workers, Arturo Gonzalez and Heng Zheng, also were killed in accidents on Scarano projects.
The DOB claims that they randomly review 20% of all permit applications. Yet last year only THREE architects lost self certification rights. This is why things like this happen. Does this make Mr. Scarano and Ms. Lancaster criminally liable for the death of Anthony Duncan? This has to end.

Let's ask for a moratorium on all new Brooklyn Building

When Is Enough, Enough? Dysfunctional Development In New York City.

Scarano Pointing The Finger Back (The Real Deal)***

Dept. Of Buildings Response to Scarano Controversy (The Gowanus Lounge)

For Home Page, click Pardon Me For Asking


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