According to Steve Shane, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, before he can legally declare the recent North wall collapse an emergency he must first be notified by a second State department / authority to notify him that an emergency exists. In this case it is a fact he already knows that without immediate stabilization the entire landmarked ruin could be in danger of collapse.
The agency RIOC is waiting for is the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHIPO). A quick check of their website offers no indication or even a news release that this agency is evaluating the current collapse.
Meanwhile plenty of other preservation websites have already sounded the alarm including Preservation Nation the online blog of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Yesterday this blog ran a story regarding the status of the collapse. Within that very article President Shane is quoted as stating ““We can’t do anything without getting a lot of admin approvals because it’s on the [state and National] historic registers.” Now I realize that the National Trust and the National Register of Historic Places are two different organizations but one would think they are one and the same. More red tape.
If the National Register declares an emergency will that trump SHIPO and speed things up? Would a barrage of phone calls to SHIPO help things along?