Manhattan Architect Killed by Falling Debris

head shot/Zubatkin

Erica Tishman, the 60-year-old architect and vice president of Zubatkin Owner Representation, was fatally struck by falling debris Tuesday morning.

Tishman was a respected trustee of the Central Synagogue in Midtown and an Educational Alliance board member. In a cruel irony, she was struck and killed by debris falling from a building on 49th Street and Seventh Avenue, around 10:45 a.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The building had previously been cited by Department of Building (DOB) inspectors for the “damaged terra cotta at areas above 15th floor in several locations which poses a falling hazard for pedestrians.” The DOB released a statement saying:

This is a tragedy, and the family and friends of the victim are in our thoughts. No pedestrian should be at risk from dangerous facade conditions. Department of Buildings engineers are on the scene to perform a full structural stability inspection of the building to ensure all New Yorkers are safe, and conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of this tragic incident.

Himmel + Meringoff Properties, owner of the building in question, issued a brief apology in response. “We are saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family,” they said. “The company will fully cooperate with the city in the ongoing matter.”

Unfortunately, the apology is too little, too late. “Sometimes you look up and wonder how safe these buildings are. It turns out in some instances, not very,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “The owner did not fix a violation and now we have today’s tragedy.”

In a statement, Educational Alliance CEO and President Alan van Capelle remembered Tishman as “an invaluable force and irreplaceable ally,” who was “deeply connected to our community.”

He continued, “There is one word that encapsulates Erica: indefatigable. To every opportunity, meeting, or event, she always brought her full self. Her presence will always be felt in every corner of our organization.”


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