The Esplanade, the senior home on 74th street and West End Avenue where a toddler was hit and killed by a falling piece of the facade earlier this year, was not properly inspected, even after a consultant warned the Buildings Department it wasn’t safe, according to a report from the city’s Department of Investigation. An engineer hired by the building said the building was safe despite never going there to inspect it, the DOI alleged. The engineer, Maqsood Faruqi, was arrested Tuesday.
Other problems abounded, according to a report in the Daily News. The DOI found that building employees did not report that parts of the facade had previously fallen down.
And a warning from a consultant 7 months before the toddler was killed went unheeded by the Department of Buildings.
In October 2014, seven months before the death of the 2-year-old, a consultant was inspecting a building next door when he noticed serious problems with The Esplanade’s brick façade.
He took a photograph of an obvious crack in the façade and emailed it to the head of the buildings department’s façade unit. He warned DOB to “get someone over pretty quick on this.”
The consultant received an “out-of-office” reply from the top official, so he tried again with a top DOB architect. The architect acknowledged receiving his emailed warning.
DOI found that the architect then forwarded the warning to a supervising inspector, asking “Can we inspect?”
It appears that this inspector never opened the email and the top DOB architect never circled back to follow up. Ultimately no inspector was sent to the site.
Read all the details in the Daily News report.