NYC Buildings Commissioner rumour: architects unite

Niki May Young
Wednesday 30 Apr 2008

Leading architect societies and patrons to contest rumoured NYC Department of Buildings Commissioner changes

Members of leading architects societies have united in protest following the rumour that NYC Department of Buildings will change the rule that the Buildings Commissioner must be an architect or developer in the wake of the resignation of Patricia Lancaster from the position. In an email sent as a reaction to WAN’s lead story in News Review yesterday, Alan Weinstein, President of the American Institute of Architects, Queens Chapter stated:

“The 5 chapters of the American Institute of Architects of NYC, The Society of American Registered Architects, The NY State Society of Professional Engineers including its 5 borough chapters, the Architects Council of NYC, The AIA Long Island, AIA New York State and many other organizations are vehemently opposed to the rumor that the Mayor of NYC seeks to do away with the legal requirement for the NYCDOB Commissioner to be a licensed individual.”

The rumour followed the resignation of Lancaster after a series of fatal accidents including the collapse of a crane last month which killed seven people and injured 24 others. This year has seen 13 construction deaths already, one more than the total number of fatalities for 2007.

Weinstein added: “Remember that this is rumor and has not been confirmed - but we are keeping a very close watch. In fact, the rumor is that it may be presented to city council this Wednesday - we will be in attendance.”

Weinstein advised WAN that 18 organisations throughout New York have prepared a position piece for distribution in the event of the presentation of proposed changes at city council today. He stated: “Rest assured, that a non-licensed individual will not be a commissioner. Presently NYC Charter and State Education Law require licensure.”

Niki May Young
News Editor

(WAN will keep you updated but if you would like to read more about this story please see our NEWS REVIEW for the original story and a comment piece by Matthew Freedman.)

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