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Carter's View

A crane collapsed this morning at the construction site for Azure, a 32-story residential condominium building at 331 East 91st Street, which also has the address of 1765 First Avenue.

At least one person was killed, the crane operator, in the incident in which the crane topped and crashed into a building across the street. In a briefing, Mayor Bloomberg said that in addition to the dead crane operator, two other construction workers were seriously injured.

According to a report at, a stop work order was issued on April 23 and the order was lifted only yesterday. "The day after the April order, there was a complaint that the crane was still operating. The most recent complaint came in on May 20 as 'caller sts there is a crane approximately 12 stories up and there is a platform that extends across sidewalk and well into traffic with equipment on it.' An inspector was dispatched and found 'no action necessary' and 'no unsafe conditions.'"

The building is part of a mixed-use project that will include a 520-seat Middle School 114 that is being developed by the city's Educational Construction Fund.

The DeMatteis Organization is the developer and James Davidson of SCLE Architects is the designer of the tower.

The building will have 128 apartments, according to documents on file with the Department of Buildings.

On March 15, 2008, a large crane next to an apartment tower under construction at 303 East 51st Street collapsed killing several people.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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