Friars Club Worried About MTA Construction Plans
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – It’s known for shaking up celebrities at its comedy roasts. But the Friars Club says it’s not laughing about plans to blast dynamite under its 102-year-old clubhouse in midtown Manhattan.
The club says it’s worried about plans by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a ventilation shaft under the building.
The MTA says the group has nothing to fear.
But Friars Club lawyer Sid Davidoff says members worried about the structural integrity of the building are hiring engineers to determine if the building is at risk.
“This could literally destroy a century-old facility where this club has been operating for nearly 60 years,” he told 1010 WINS. “It’s one of the most important clubs in the city.”
Davidoff believes 55th Street is the wrong place to put in the ventilation shaft.
“We believe there are other locations it could be located on without doing this kind of damage and without much inconvenience to streets that already have construction on it,” Davidoff said.
The club also wants to know if the work will disrupt business at its restaurant.
“The blasting, which will have to be done, with the digging, the pile-driving and the dirt and dust — this will be a major detraction if not astronomical to the Friars Club,” Davidoff said.
The ventilation system is part of a new tunnel that will allow the Long Island Rail Road to run trains to Grand Central Terminal.