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Expanding NYC's Museum of Modern Art:
Tramac Breakers from Alessi Reach for the Sky

Reprinted from Tramac's newsletter Breaking News, - December 2000

New York, NY.
It takes a lot to make New Yorkers sit up and take notice. They've seen it all. But on a hot Saturday in July, with 54th Street -- about as "midtown" as you can get -- closed to traffic, Manhattanites watched in amazement as over twenty-two pieces of heavy equipment were hauled to the very top (28th floor) of the Dorset Hotel, adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art.

TRAMAC breakers ready to  be hoisted at Museum of Modern Art

It took about 8 hours for a dozen mini excavators and skid loaders, and 10 Tramac 95 hammers supplied by Alessi Equipment Company, to be hoisted to their sky-high job site.

New York's MoMA opened its doors in 1929, the first museum to devote its programs and collection entirely to the modern movement. Its present expansion calls for 230,000 sq. ft. of new construction on the site of the Dorset Hotel as well as a 350,000 sq. ft. renovation of their existing space.

Crane lifts TRAMAC breaker at Museum work site

The Team for the Job

When it comes to tackling a major demolition job in NYC, Breeze Demolition of Brooklyn, NY is the organization to call. Toby Romano, President of Breeze, has been in the business for 32 years, the past 20 with his own company: plenty of time to learn to cope with the rigors of big city demolition. Rules and regulations, lack of space for equipment maneuverability, and heavy traffic are just the beginning.

On this job, there is yet an another sensitive issue to consider -- the irreplaceable value of the Museum's collection. It wouldn't do to have the vibration from a large chunk of falling debris shake up a Picasso painting or jostle a Calder mobile from its moorings. Breeze Demolition built protection into the job.

TRAMAC breaker suspended by crane high above Museum of Modern Art

Breeze began the job in July of 2000 and hopes to complete it by the end of January. Elevator shafts have been converted to chutes for removal of debris. Fifteen to twenty truckloads of debris are removed each day. As each level of demolition is completed (removing concrete slabs and brick and masonry walls), they lower the equipment to the floor below by means of block and tackle. When it comes time to break up the building's foundations, they'll bring in their heavy hitters: V55 hammers, Tramac's MP70 grapple, and the PFH 1200 Shear on a Cat 24.

A Loyal Relationship with Tramac and Alessi

Romano is quick to credit his 100% loyalty to Tramac as much to the fine service he gets from Ray and Gerry Alessi of R. Alessi Equipment Co., Mt. Vernon, NY. "Downtime can't be tolerated on a high profile job of this magnitude, and Alessi responds immediately to any problems at any time, including Christmas Eve," explained Toby.