Via Krystal T’s Flickr
Following back-to-back fatal fires in 1998 at two New York City buildings that lacked working sprinklers, public officials advocated for new regulations requiring sprinklers in all buildings. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration that year pushed for legislation to address the lack of sprinklers in high-rise towers. But real estate developers, including President Donald Trump, fought against the proposals, citing the high expense of retrofitting existing buildings with them, as the Washington Post reported.
After fierce lobbying from developers, including Trump who personally called a dozen council members, the city enacted a law in 1999 that would require sprinklers in new construction but not existing buildings, exempting the president’s Trump Tower. On Saturday, a fire ripped through a 50th-floor apartment at Trump Tower, killing a 67-year-old art dealer. Sprinklers were never installed at the Fifth Avenue property.
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Photo via Ed Reed/City of New York
In June of 1997, an unlikely meeting of Mother Teresa and then Mayor Rudy Giuliani took place–and it was over the ever frustrating matter of New York parking. She had come to the city for a surprise visit to spend time with the South Bronx branch of her organization, Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa, then 86, would die just a few months later, but during this visit, her charity work wasn’t what she wanted to discuss with the mayor. Instead, she came to him with a very New York request: picking up a few extra parking permits for her nuns.
The mayor couldn’t turn her down
The city has officially approved a $3 million streetscaping plan as part of the overall plan to create a cultural district on the border of downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene, according to Crain’s New York. The plan, which will transform public spaces along several streets including Fulton Street, Ashland Place, Lafayette Avenue, will include ripping up the existing sidewalks and replacing them with dark stone slabs embedded with a sprinkling of lights. There will also be new seating and landscaping along a number of blocks north of Atlantic Avenue where patrons of popular institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and BRIC arts and media gather. The idea is to turn that area into a cultural epicenter in Brooklyn, much like Lincoln Center in Manhattan, but comprised of several independent entities.
Find out more about Brooklyn’s new cultural epicenter here