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Use Of Someone Else's Wall

Use Of Someone Else's Wall

Use Of Someone Else's Wall

Perhaps the folks on this forum can give some insight regarding something that I observed in one of my numerous trips to New York City. I recently observed a new building under construction while walking down a street. I noticed that the new building was a steel framed structure with interior columns. At the outside perimeter, the steel beams were being anchored into the walls of the adjoining buildings. This seems a little weird to me. I am wondering what happens when the owners of the adjoining buildings decide to knock them down and put up something newer. It appears to me that demolition of the adjoining buildings would cause a partial collapse of the middle building. Once the middle building is completed, no one would be able to tell visually that the adjoining building's walls were utilized to hold up the middle building. The building in question is about 5 stories high with a footprint of about 40' x 40'. All three buildings described fill the entire lots that they are upon. I saw another building being constructed in this manner about 15 years ago and I thought it was weird them. Seeing this newer one a couple of weeks ago stirred up those old doubts. What do the other, more experienced than me, folks on this forum think?

RE: Use Of Someone Else's Wall

Possibly what you saw was "soil/rock" nailing where the anchored wall you saw was placed to underpin the existing structure so that the existing building wouldn't undergo excessive settlement or tilting during the excavation of the new building. The building going up would have it's own basement wall. It may look like what you are saying but I very very much doubt it.

RE: Use Of Someone Else's Wall

You probably were looking at a party wall, a wall owned by both adjoining properties.  The property line runs down the center of this wall.  Therefore, one owner can not tear down the wall if another also owns it.

RE: Use Of Someone Else's Wall


I don't think that the particular wall that I saw was a party wall. The remnant of the original wall for the middle building was present, but had been torn down almost to ground level. You could see the holes for the joists in it. Most of the new steel was above this wall portion and appeared to be attached to the walls of the adjoining buildings.

RE: Use Of Someone Else's Wall

Sounds like the old floor joists were worthless, and it was decided to completely replace all the floors, and leave the brick bearing walls to use again.

Situations like that are common in NYC.  Alot of the turn of the century building floors just cant support office or retail live loads.  It is often easier to replace the whole floor than to try remedial work.

RE: Use Of Someone Else's Wall


Very odd. I've never seen someone tie a new building into an existing wall that is totally on someone else's property.  I can't imagine how that could be allowed unless the same person owned both buildings.

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