A prominent New York City architect was killed Tuesday morning by a falling chunk of somebody else's building. Officials say Erica Tishman, 60, was hit in the head by debris from a 17-story building near Times Square that was fined in April for having an unsafe facade, the New York Times reports. City records show that Himmel + Meringoff Properties, owner of the building at 729 Seventh Avenue, paid a $1,250 fine after inspectors found that damaged terra cotta above the 15th floor "poses a falling hazard for pedestrians." Records show that in November the building was granted permission to carry out repair work and install scaffolding, though it was not in place at the time of Tuesday's accident.
Tishman, vice president of project management firm Zubatkin, was walking with a man when she was hit by the debris, witness Raphael Roston tells the New York Daily News. "It’s pretty horrific. We all work right over here. Could have happened to anyone. It's very scary," Roston says. State Sen. Brad Hoylman, who represents the district, says the building's owner should have installed a sidewalk shed or scaffolding as soon as they were cited for the violation. "Sometimes you look up and wonder how safe these buildings are. It turns out in some instances, not very," Hoylman tells ABC7. He says he hopes "the landlord has the book thrown at him." (Read more New York City stories.)