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All the City’s Sidewalk Sheds

All the City’s Sidewalk Sheds


Sidewalk sheds, those temporary metal-and-wood structures that can sometimes feel creepy to walk under, are everywhere in New York City. They aren’t pretty, but they do perform the important function of protecting pedestrians from crumbling building facades and other construction hazards above.

The death of Grace Gold, a Barnard freshman who was struck by a falling chunk of a building on West 115th Street in 1979, prompted laws regulating the sheds, said Tim Hogan, deputy commissioner for enforcement at the New York City Department of Buildings.

More than 8,000 sheds are currently in place in the city — end to end, about 300 miles’ worth. Most have been up less than a year, but the oldest, at 409 Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem, has been in place for more than 12 years because of ongoing repairs to the facade. The historic building has been home to a number of notable African-Americans, including the scholar and critic W.E.B. Du Bois and the Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, both of whom lived there in the 1940s.

A new website maintained by the Department of Buildings is updated daily with information about every shed in the city. This week’s chart offers a recent snapshot.



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