One of the last damaged buildings standing near the original World Trade Center complex, the 1 Bankers Trust Plaza Building, was recently cleared for demolition. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation issued a contract to the Gilbane Building Company on April 13.
Since September 11, 2001, the 536-foot-high building, also known as the Deutsche Bank, has towered above Ground Zero with a black netting covering its battle scar — a gash between the eighth and 24th floors. Although some structural work was done on the building last year to make it stable against strong winds, the entire building is filled with mold and contaminated with asbestos, lead, mercury and a mix of other deadly toxins from the dust of the World Trade Center. Instead of going through a lengthy process of decontamination and reconstruction, the owners of the building have decided demolition is the best option.
For construction crews, demolition of the building will not be easy. Due to its contaminated state, the 1.4-million-square-foot structure cannot be imploded. Instead, it will be disassembled piece by piece. Crews will first remove all furniture, electronic equipment and computers, which will be placed in sealed containers and decontaminated. Other methods that might be used to decontaminate the building include using air pumps to create negative air pressure and cleaning surfaces with high-efficiency air-filter vacuums. The first phase is to be finished by June.
Starting in late summer, interiors and machinery will be removed, the aluminum and glass fa