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Midtown Block is the Essex House's Ashtray, But is it a Nightmare?

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Our Scaffolding Nightmare Investigative Patrol of Persistent Youngsters (SNIPPY), otherwise known as Curbed interns, is combing the streets to bring light to the darkest underbellies of unsightly construction equipment. Got a scaffolding nightmare that needs investigating? Drop us a line at

A SNIPPY critic writes: "That is not scaffolding you're talking about, it is called 'sidewalk bridges.' Scaffolding is rigging hung off buildings for workers. Sidewalk bridges protect pedestrians from falling debris, etc." Yeah, but Sidewalk Bridge Nightmares is far less catchy, and why ruin a perfectly good acronym? Now, on to today's nightmare!

Reader Report: "145 West 58th Street between 6th and 7th avenues. The Maurice and the building directly across the street (same mngmnt company) has had scaffolding up for more than 2 years now - it sucks. All of the Essex House workers smoke under there too, so it is literally a hazard to your health to walk the block. How long can they leave it up?! What's the law?"

SNIPPY Investigation: As long as the permits get renewed, the stuff can stay up longer than the drought between Knicks playoffs berths. And these buildings look fine, so why uglify 'em? Like most ugly scaffolding scenes, this is a Local Law 11 situation. The sidewalk shed permit was granted way back in 2007, and a fresh facade restoration permit means something may actually happen soon enough. So, is this a Scaffolding Nightmare?

Possibly not! Though netting runs down most of West 58th Street in both directions, sufficient lighting abounds, thanks to a nice partnership between the equidistant lights and the sun. So while it looks kind of bad from afar...

...up close things aren't so bad. Plus, the locals are getting some positive uses out of it. Like covered parking spots! Great as we head into winter.

And there's always complimentary cleaning products on hand to spiffy the place up.

In fact, the most terrifying thing about this scene is probably the ominous gigantic crane across the street that looks like it could squash SNIPPY like a little bug. Watch your heads!

But overall, on the Nightmare Index, we give this only 2/5 Freddy Kruegers, and it would have been even less terrifying if not for the secondhand smoke scares.

?SNIPPY investigation conducted by Maggie Shaw
· Scaffolding Nightmares [Curbed]