For Immediate Release:  May 2, 2017
CONTACT:, (212) 393-2126


NEW YORK, NY – Today, the New York City Department of Buildings published a report mapping in detail the façade conditions of more than 14,000 buildings citywide that are required to periodically submit façade-inspection results to the Department. The report also offers details on some of the city’s least-loved structures: the “sidewalk sheds” that are put up in front of buildings that have façade defects, façade maintenance projects, or where there is an ongoing construction project. DOB’s new report is part of an ongoing effort to modernize the agency and increase transparency through the use of advanced data analytics and mapping.

Key report findings:

  • Nearly 90% of the façade inspection reports in the most recent five-year filing period were either in good condition, or were in a repair and maintenance program.
  • There are more than 7,700 buildings in the city with a sidewalk shed in front of them – more than 280 miles of sidewalk sheds in all.

Here is a link to DOB’s report on façade safety.

Here is a link to DOB’s map of sidewalk shed locations citywide.

“Sidewalk sheds are a necessary evil: they’re ugly, but they’re required by law to keep pedestrians safe. Our report will help New Yorkers understand why these structures went up on their block and how long they’ve been there. DOB’s façade-safety report represents not only a step forward in our ability to monitor at-risk buildings, but also a new level of transparency and accountability for building owners who are required to do their part to keep every New Yorker safe,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler, P.E.

The Façade Safety Inspection Program was created under Local Law 11 in 1998 and requires owners of buildings taller than six stories to hire a construction professional to do a hands-on façade safety inspection every 5 years, and file a report detailing the conditions with the Department.

As a result of these inspections, property owners are required to install a sidewalk shed to protect the public when there is an unsafe façade, or when there is façade maintenance work or an ongoing construction project. In these cases, DOB is mandated by law to ensure that sidewalk sheds are present and structurally sound. Owners who fail to repair their façades in a timely manner are subject to enforcement actions and penalties by the Department.