NEW YORK CITY – Provincial Minister John O’Connor, Guardian Jerome Massimino, members of the Provincial Office staff and friars from the St. Francis community made an inspection tour of the unfinished building on 31st Street. The tour was part of the “Topping Off” ceremonies that marked the completion of the pouring of concrete for all of the floors of the 58-story structure adjacent to St. Francis Church. The building is scheduled to be completed in about ten months.
The structure will house the friary for the friars at St. Francis, the offices of the Province, 11 floors for the American Cancer Society, as well as mixed-income apartments.
The heads of many of the organizations involved in the planning, design and construction of the tower gathered on the 5th floor atrium level to enjoy a feast of Italian dishes, barrels of soft drinks and water, as well as a visual treat of the New York City skyline from the perspective of one its newest buildings.
Also included in the festivities were the 400-plus construction workers from the various building trades who descended from the above floors, crowding into the small work elevators, and disgorging on the 5th floor to mingle with the friars, bank CEOs, construction moguls, news media, wives and secretaries. The scene was truly a microcosm of New York City, punctuated by the hundreds of different colored construction helmets.
The event lasted for three hours, culminating in the actual “Topping Off,” when an American flag was placed on the top of the building via the huge crane that had hauled tons of liquid concrete over the last year. As the flag ascended to the roof, all the members of the building organizations glanced skyward in silence, proud of their smooth-running collective effort.