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Re: Buildings Dept. Files Gone

Posted by courtwatcher on May 17, 2001 at 12:01:14:

In Reply to: Buildings Dept. Files Gone posted by Ron on May 16, 2001 at 11:56:51:

I had similar problem with missing files / folders / plans for the building where I live. It appears in our case that the LL's bldg. mgr. / architect / contractor took the DOB folder (w/ the plans) out of DOB HQ (a violation in itself) and just happened to keep the plans /folder / file / paperwork in his office for about 3 years. Surprisingly the plans & paperwork re-appeared after we settled our case with the LL.
If a DOB application / plans / permit is more than a certain # of years old (5 yrs?) then the folder w/all paperwork is "stored"; the easiest way to access the info is to get the microfilm / fiche and view that on the projectors which are available at DOB. As part of the application process all DOB records are put on microfilm / microfiche. So even if the files / plans "just disappeared" there is a version that can be accessed.
Go to Manhattan DOB HQ @ 60 Hudson St. (5th Floor, Records Division); fill out the request form, provide your ID (required to view folders / files) and start the process.
Also @ DOB 60 Hudson, 5th Floor: Check the Public Access computer terminals (expeditors & others can be helpful if you ask): Enter building info (by address or by Block & Lot #) and do a search of alteration applications / permits for your building. You can also access this info over the phone -- check the "" website and go to "Buildings" for info on phone / fax access.
The only way to view plans is at DOB.
There is the chance that the work you're questioning is just plain illegal and that no applications / permits / plans were ever filed at DOB. If you take the time to view the complete history of your building @ DOB you might be able to decipher when and if illegal / unpermitted work was performed. It will take some digging and detective work on your part.

: Some years ago, the landlord made alterations to my apt bulding in Manhattan that I believe was illegal. However, when I went to the Buildings Dept. to see the plans, they were not in the file and I was told that they had just "disappeared." Is there some other place that these documents would have to be filed or where I might obtain them?

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