Guterman right about concern over walls
I was pleased to see in the T&V issue of February 16 the article about Mr. Guterman, who also hopes to buy the complexes, bringing up his concerns about the strain and danger that the pressurized walls and overcrowding of apartments are bringing to the buildings. Lest we forget, ST was built 65 years ago, hardly maintained over the years as those of us living there know, and with no notion that the buildings would end up as human warehouses, sheltering up to four adults in one-bedroom apartments as the case has been since Tishman had the idea to put up the pressurize walls and bring in students.
Quite correctly Mr. Guterman brings up both quality of life and security issues due to sub-dividing the apartments among double or triple the number of adults tenants than was supposed to be originally. Living in a building where we had a real fire on December 10 and had to evacuate, I can say that his concerns are well grounded. Luckily the fire, one that required several firefighters coming up to the 5th floor to extinguish, was at around 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon when many people were out.
However, those of us in the building, once we realized what was happening (I live one floor behind the fire) had to quickly evacuate down stairwell B that had no smoke. What would it have been like if the fire had happened in the middle of the night, with most of us at home, with one set of stairs (A) out of bounds due to smoke and we all had to evacuate through stairwell B? Would space, calculated for a certain number of residents based on the size and occupancy of the apartments, have accommodated double if not triple the number of people rushing out?
We need to get the politicians and authorities on board to stop this indiscriminate warehousing of people in spaces meant for half the number of residents. Where is Brookfield, the TA’s chosen partner for conversion in all this? Don’t they see the dangers and illegality of the pressurized walls and manifold increase in tenants as Guterman does? Don’t they and the TA realize that many of us who could easily afford to buy in case of conversion would never sink our savings into dormitory style living? What normal person over 30 would invest their life savings in student dorms?
Anna Theofilopoulou, ST Continue reading