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Lessons from the inferno: emergency preparedness at the World Trade Center.

Facilities managers at New York City's World Trade Center complex have staged a remarkable comeback from a crisis that had seemed unthinkable--a major terrorist attack on a U.S. office complex.

On February 26, an estimated 1,800 pounds of explosives ripped through six sub-basement floors that housed operations and maintenance offices; primary and secondary power plants; fire safety; communications; refrigeration systems; and tenant and public parking.

The blast created a massive underground crater which gaped five stories and covered 16,000 square feet. Numerous small fires had to be extinguished, and dense smoke, escaping through the damaged areas, quickly rose the entire 110-story height of the Center's famed Twin Towers.

The incident caused six deaths, and more than 1,000 suffered injuries, although most were minor. The catastrophe also inspired many acts of individual heroism and kindness as fellow tenants and staff provided water and first aid to trapped workers during the long evacuation effort.

For the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) and its property management staff, the most arduous part of the crisis was still to come. Working nearly around the clock, they were responsible for securing access to the bomb site for investigators and emergency personnel; getting utilities and support systems up and running; overseeing restoration efforts of contractors, engineers, and inspectors; relocating tenants to temporary quarters; and preparing for re-occupancy of the Towers, which was achieved less than one month after the bombing.

It is not yet clear why the Center was targeted--whether for its financial tenants or the prominence of the Center itself. Whatever the reasons, the scope of the Center gave the tragedy an added dimension.

Constructed in the mid-1960s, the 16-acre complex has seven major buildings and 11 million square feet of space.

The complex includes the Vista Hotel (operated by Hilton International); the U.S. Customs House; an extensive indoor mall of shops and restaurants; and underground stations of three New York City subway lines and the PATH trains linking Manhattan and northern New Jersey. There are over 300 elevators and escalators in the complex.

The 110-story Twin Towers house about half of the Center's permanent population of 45,000 tenant employees and Port Authority or contractor staff. The Towers also grab the lion's share of the Center's estimated 75,000 to 100,000 visitors and shoppers per day.

Two key members of the World Trade Center's facilities management team are Port Authority employees Tom Cancelliere, manager of plant and structures, and Douglas Karpiloff, general manager of tenant support and project management.

Just weeks after the Twin Towers' tenants returned, JPM spoke with Karpiloff and Cancelliere about the disaster and its aftermath.

JPM: Where were you at the time of the blast?

Cancelliere: I was just sitting down to lunch at the China Regent Restaurant, right across the street from Tower Two. It's ironic; I go out to lunch maybe two or three times a year. But this was a networking lunch with a group of seven managers from other departments.

At the time of the explosion, we heard a sort of thud, and the lights in the restaurant dimmed for a couple of seconds, then went back on. We thought it was probably an underground transformer blowing, which happens occasionally in lower Manhattan. I immediately made my way to a pay phone anyway because our equipment is sensitive to power dips, and I wanted to make sure that everything was O.K.

On the way to the pay phone, my beeper went off, meaning my secretary had dialed me. I returned the call and a panicky subordinate told me that there had been an explosion in subgrade. I dashed across the street.

I was able to descend to subgrade, but our designated crisis room was part of the blast area and had been evacuated. The lights were out; there was pretty thick smoke; and people with injuries were being treated by paramedics.

Four of my subordinates, who had decided to have lunch together in an office near the blast, were killed.

As soon as it became clear that the subgrade situation room was unusable, I went back upstairs and out on West Street, where I met with other Port Authority staffers. We set up our first temporary command post in the middle of the street.

At this point, I still had no idea at all that this was a terrorist bomb or that the extent of the devastation was so great.

Karpiloff: From our offices on the 35th floor of the Tower, the explosion sounded like distant thunder. But almost immediately, all of the buttons on all of our phones lit up simultaneously, as tenants began to see smoke drifting up. The smoke rose pretty quickly, and soon we saw it too.

About the same time, half of the lights on our floor went out. The public address system, which is normally used to contact tenants in an emergency, had also been destroyed by the blast.

Tenants are well-trained in fire emergency tactics, however. We follow standard procedures that are in force not only in our buildings, but in every building in New York City. There are pull-boxes on every floor, which summon the fire department and sound an alarm.

Many tenants activated their pull-boxes, but no alarms sounded. They too had been destroyed by the explosion.

Within a few minutes, we had an inkling that this might be something serious. I have a two-way radio and a scanner and I was able to tune in to the sub-basement levels. Over the radio, you could hear screams and crying. Like Tom, I thought it must be a transformer explosion of some kind.

My first thought was to get down to the assigned situation room on the B-2 level. I left about half my tenant support staff in the stairwell on the 35th floor, thinking they could assist tenants.

I proceeded down the stairs with about ten of my people. We made it down eight or nine floors when the lights went out completely. The backup electrical system, designed to provide emergency lighting in stairwells and elevators, had stopped operating.

As quickly as possible, our group made it down to the 19th floor, where we knew there was a building supply office of Turner Construction Company.

We and the Turner staff immediately got flashlights and distributed them to volunteers, who stood up and down the landings shining light into the stairwells. And we opened up the Turner office as a temporary "triage" area for tenants who were having trouble with the evacuation. We gave people water and tried to calm them.

Later, we found out that there were numerous triage operations like ours all over the Towers. Some were set up by Port Authority or contractor staff members, others by concerned tenants.

JPM: Why did your life safety systems not restore power?

Cancelliere: As we've pieced the scenario together, the explosion knocked out five of the seven electrical feeders powering our chillers in sub-basement level 5. As soon as these shorted, they tripped the breaker at our primary distribution center and electric utility.

At that point, our backup generators, which were on the B-6 level, kicked in. But the blast had also ruptured cooling water lines feeding those backup generators. The units were on isolation pads, so they weren't flooded from the outside. According to our engineers, they shut down because they were not being cooled and had overheated.

At this point, we still had three operating backup electrical feeds, which is why half the lights on each floor stayed on for an hour or so after the explosion. But these, too, had to be shut off, at the insistence of the fire department. They were afraid that firefighters--or any of our people buried in the rubble--could be electrocuted if the water in the flooded areas or water from fire hoses came too near the remaining live power lines.

When our communications command center adjacent to the bomb crater was knocked out, we lost our video monitors, our public address system, and our audible alarms.

Our engineers have also speculated why the smoke problem occurred. The explosion blew out demising walls which house the elevator pits in Tower One, compromising smoke separation between the sub-basement areas and the Towers. Windows and doors were also shattered between the Vista Hotel, which was almost directly above the blast site, and the concourse which links the Twin Towers. So there were several places where smoke, which was created primarily by all those burning automobiles, could infiltrate the upper stories.

Although the sprinkler system in the sub-basement areas activated, most of the piping was blown away and therefore ineffective in suppressing the fire. The sprinklers in the Towers themselves were not activated because there was absolutely no above-ground fire or excessive heat, only smoke. Our smoke-purge systems were rendered useless in the absence of electricity. Also, the remote control station from which smoke-purge systems are operated received extensive blast damage.

Even the chilly outdoors temperature worked against us. It enhanced the "stack" or "chimney" effect, which causes smoke to rise steadily, as denser, heavier cold air flows down and displaces it. It's exactly the same effect you get when you light a fireplace in winter.

JPM: What was the rest of the day like?

Karpiloff: Within a fairly short period, fire department and emergency rescue professionals were able to make it up the stairwells and help with the evacuation. Except for those stuck in elevators, all tenants were out of the buildings by 4:30 or 5:00.

My unit got down to the concourse about 3:00. We made contact with upper management and were told that after the tenants were completely evacuated, we should all assemble in the "Big Kitchen," a vacant former restaurant on the upper mall level. That would be the designated command post for Port Authority people and assisting agencies.

Cancelliere: Our engineering staff was asked to assist the various agencies investigating the bombings. They began assessing the structural damage and coping with utility outages.

Several of our elevator supervisors and mechanics were airlifted by helicopter to the roofs to help with elevator rescues. Many of the elevator units had to have their brakes released and be lowered manually down to a landing. The last of those trapped in the elevators were not released until 8:00 p.m. or so.

I ended my day at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning at Beekman Hospital, visiting the most seriously injured of my staff.

Karpiloff: My day ended about 1:00 a.m. as well. I'd been able to view the blast site up close by supervising a special video crew we had hired to document the damage. I spent most of the evening talking to tenants on the phone and telling them what I knew about the status of the Towers.

JPM: Did conditions improve once the first day was over?

Karpiloff: For my staff, the next few days were more trying than the day of the explosion. It was almost like operating under military combat conditions.

Working with the New York Fire Department, we set up a procedure to allow small escorted groups of tenants to go into the Towers and retrieve personal and business items. Because essential fire and life-support systems were not restored, we could not allow the tenants to go into the buildings on their own.

We worked out an elaborate protocol for escorting tenants into the Towers. Each group consisted of up to ten tenants and a Port Authority staffer with a two-way radio. Each tenant had to be identified and issued a temporary pass.

The tenants were permitted to stay in their offices for only 30 minutes and to remove such essential items as files, appointment calendars, Rolodexes, and computer diskettes.

One of our most pressing problems initially was procuring enough two-way radios. We persuaded our radio suppliers, General Electric and Motorola, to ship us more units by courier. I think we commandeered every two-way radio east of the Mississippi.

On Sunday, two days after the blasts, we escorted about 70 ten-person groups of tenants into their offices. Sunday was a critical day because brokerage operations needed to prepare their buy and sell orders for the openings of the domestic and international stock exchanges on Monday.

By Thursday or Friday, we were escorting an extraordinary 300 groups per day. We started at 7:00 a.m. and went until 8:00 or 9:00 at night, seven days a week. We got some unexpected--but very welcome--assistance from PA retirees who came by and said, "How can we help?"

JPM: What about the physical repair of the building?

Cancelliere: We hired demolition contractors to perform the removal, under the supervision of our staff and the Port Authority engineering department. They had to eliminate an estimated 4,800 tons of debris and attach about 180 braces to damaged columns.

For the first three days, removing water from the crater was a top priority. Almost two million gallons had poured in from a damaged pipe connecting Hudson River water to our refrigeration plant. Turner Construction hauled six pumps weighing up to 600 pounds apiece down to the lowest level and had them pump around the clock until all the water was removed.

Getting crushed automobiles out of the wreckage was a tremendous task, too. Over 200 cars were totally or partially destroyed. We had to remove them, impound them, identify them, and, if feasible, return them to owners.

The FBI insisted on "sweeping" each and every vehicle to make sure it was not connected to the crime. In all our work we had to be extra careful not to interfere with investigators or unintentionally destroy or remove important evidence.

As time went on, our "Big Kitchen" command post became more and more sophisticated. We set up tables, staffed around the clock, for virtually every internal department, contractor, utility, or outside agency on the scene. There was a "telephone" table, where you could go if you were having trouble with phones. There were also an "electricity" table; an "elevator" table; a "press" table; tables for mechanical, structural, and environmental engineering--literally anything you could think of.

JPM: How was all of this repair work coordinated?

Cancelliere: We had two meetings a day of key managers, plus contractor and agency representatives.

We also employed a group of outside industrial engineers we had used in the past to work as overall schedulers. They produced big blow-up charts showing what kind of work was going on where and when that work was scheduled to be completed. So we knew when the fire alarms were going back in service, when the sprinklers were going back in service, and so forth.

JPM: What provisions did you make for your displaced tenants?

Karpiloff: As soon as it was clear that the Towers could not be reopened immediately, we started to provide help with relocation.

Some tenants had headquarters or subsidiaries elsewhere that could take them in. Others needed temporary space.

Luckily the lower Manhattan real estate market was soft enough that good commercial space was available. The City of New York and New York Telephone both offered free assistance identifying available offices. So did the Real Estate Board of New York, which asked its members to make temporary space available to Towers tenants on a net cost basis.

In conjunction with the offices of the governors of New Jersey and New York, we began what we call the TOWERS program (Tenant/Owner/Worker Economic Recovery Stimulus). It is designed to bring the World Trade Center and its surrounding area not only up to full recovery, but beyond it.

As a part of this program, we agreed to move tenant offices temporarily out of and back into the Twin Towers at no cost whatsoever. We hired five major moving contractors, who boxed tenant furniture and equipment. At some points, we were loading 50 truckloads a night for relocation.

JPM: How did you handle tenant communications?

Karpiloff: After a few days, we were able to establish a tenant support center in a vacant department store at the Center. We provided a variety of amenities for any tenant who wanted them--food, coffee, fax machines, copiers, phones, television sets, stock tickers.

We were also able to set up a very sophisticated emergency tenant notification system almost immediately. It had been on order for several months, but when the tragedy occurred, the manufacturer, Dicom, was able to ship out a system to us right away.

It is an extremely sophisticated system with 12 incoming lines and 32 outgoing ones. Voice mail allows tenants to leave messages 24 hours a day. The messages are recorded and answered in the order they come in. We can dial tenant numbers--office or home--and disseminate vital outgoing information on 32 lines at a time. I can't tell you how helpful that was following the crisis.

Other departments deserve credit for efficient communications, too. Our human resources and marketing departments kept up printing and distributing our Port Authority employee newsletter, Diary Extra, and our tenant newsletter, 1.10 News, as well as special information bulletins.

We also tried to assist with psychological needs. We made specialists from the Port Authority medical department and outside consulting specialists available without cost to any PA employee, contractor, or tenant who needed them. The New York State Psychological Association also set up a toll-free hotline for anyone who wanted counseling.

JPM: Looking back on the crisis, what procedures worked as planned and which might have been changed?

Karpiloff: The key thing that went right during this emergency was the very orderly evacuation of tenants. What went wrong, of course, was that we lost our central control and communications command post and most of our backup fire and life safety systems. That led to some stairwell overcrowding, as we could not direct floor-by-floor evacuation.

JPM: Are you initiating any changes in your emergency systems or procedures to prevent future problems?

Cancelliere: We've initiated quite a few changes. Perhaps most dramatic is the installation of a tertiary source of electric power, in case both primary and secondary systems fail. On a temporary basis, two self-contained trailer-mounted emergency generators have been positioned at street level to provide an additional independent source of power. These air-cooled, low-noise units can serve various life-safety systems.

Within a short time, however, we may be getting tertiary power from another source. We have already installed a tertiary lighting system for stairwells and elevators. If all other power is lost, 1600 newly installed battery pack emergency lights will automatically activate in all elevators and stairwells.

In addition, we've placed glow-in-the-dark signs throughout stairwells to guide the way to floor entry doors and exits on the main floor and mezzanine levels. Phosphorescent paint is being applied to stair treads and handrails.

We have enhanced intra-building communications by setting up six satellite communications control centers in the different zones of the Twin Towers. Each center has two-way radios and other new emergency communications equipment, including a system for backup communications with individual elevators. The centers also have supplies of supplementary emergency equipment, including first-aid kits, elevator keys, bullhorns, and flashlights.

To supplement safety in each of the six Tower zones, we've created completely new full-time positions: professional fire safety directors, who will continuously patrol stairwells, elevators, and other public spaces armed with bullhorns and two-way radios.

We are also planning to install a new state-of-the art fire alarm system from a company called Pyrotronics. It is an all-copper loop transmission system designed to handle fire, smoke, water-flow detection, and communications.

In the area of smoke management, one of our engineering consultants is designing a backup mechanical system that will allow the smoke exhaust fans to be controlled from more than one location.

Karpiloff: In addition to the satellite command posts, we are setting up a command post in our low-rise buildings so that we can handle voice communications from a remote site.

We are also establishing situation rooms and emergency tenant response centers throughout the Center. The idea is to provide alternative centers for command and control.

JPM: What about enhancing security?

Karpiloff: That is obviously a very important concern both to the Port

Authority and to our tenants. Before this incident, the World Trade Center, like almost all large multitenant buildings and building complexes in New York City, was an "open access" facility. Access to public spaces was not controlled during normal working hours.

That system has now been changed, with the full backing of our tenants. We've extended our evening and weekend security protocols to a 24-hour format. Visitors to our buildings, other than those patronizing the shopping malls, subways, or PATH trains, are screened by security personnel, who verify visitors by phone with tenants and issue temporary ID passes. Guests must also sign in and sign out during off hours.

This kind of system is in effect at many single-tenant facilities, such as corporate headquarters buildings and factories, so it shouldn't prove too burdensome. We've also issued new interim permanent ID cards to all tenants, contractors, and Port Authority staff. We will soon add photo ID cards and a new access control system.

Anyone entering the subgrade levels now needs a special ID with a hologram embedded in the pass. There is an expanded security protocol for the truck loading docks as well. Drivers must be identified. They and their invoices are photographed, and the trucks are videotaped.

JPM: Would that have prevented the terrorist van from getting into the Tower?

Cancelliere: The lethal van was parked on an exit ramp from the public parking garage, which at present is closed. We are frankly not sure what we will be doing in the long run. We may decide never to open underground parking again, or we may allow parking only for tenants and Port Authority personnel, with strongly secured guard stations and parking ID procedures.

We've retained an international security firm, Kroll Associates, to advise us on parking and security matters.

JPM: It's interesting that many of your security and emergency enhancements were relatively inexpensive--for example, the phosphorescent stairwell treads.

Cancelliere: Yes, that's perfectly true. For example, I would suggest that every property manager set up an off-site control room for emergency situations. All you need is an inexpensive space in an adjacent building, with some emergency communications gear, phone lists, and supplies. Your staff would know that if they cannot reach the in-building designated area, this is your emergency assembly point.

JPM: When do tenants return to the Towers?

Karpiloff: The first tenants re-occupied Tower Two on March 18, two weeks ahead of schedule. New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who has an office on the 57th floor, was the first tenant to return.

JPM: What remains to be done?

Cancelliere: All above-ground space and systems are totally restored. The major ongoing work in the sub-basement levels centers around our refrigeration system. Four of the seven chillers were badly damaged in the explosion and are being rebuilt.

For the summer cooling season, we've installed 20,000 tons of temporary refrigeration plants right out on the street. Those will eventually be removed when the primary cooling system is fully repaired. That might not be until late autumn.

And because of all the work on the chillers, plus the removal of debris and structural work, the sub-basement storage rooms and offices, including my old office, may not be ready for almost a year. Walls have been knocked down, and pipes are disconnected. There's simply a lot of basic restoration to do down there.

The Vista Hotel suffered significant structural damage, too. It may not be ready to reopen for several months.

Our total insurance coverage is $1 billion, and we don't expect to exceed that, but the cost will run into the hundreds of millions.

JPM: Has anything positive come out of this experience?

Karpiloff: I would say our tenant relationships are the best they have ever been. Each and every tenant got to know us during this crisis. They met us face-to-face, talked with us about their concerns, and appreciated the fact that we always were there when they needed us.

We're continuing these personal relationships by calling designated tenant representatives at least once a week to find out if everything is going well and to follow up on any problems. We also plan to hire some additional tenant support staff this coming year.

Cancelliere: Several of my maintenance staff are now dedicated wholly to tenant support. Before this, they handled tenant repairs, special projects, and other general maintenance assignments not related to tenant space. Now, there will be specific people handling tenant requests only.

We should note that almost immediately after the Twin Towers reopened, we finalized a very important 300,000-square-foot lease with Bank of America. The agreement was in the works before this crisis, of course. But it didn't have to be altered at all. We've signed up several additional new tenants, too.

Karpiloff: I think there's a real feeling of renewal here now among tenants, contractors, Port Authority staff, and even visitors. People are proud to have survived such a terrible event and triumphed over it. New Yorkers are known for their ability to prosper in adverse circumstances. This was one more proof of our resiliency and character.

Cancelliere: Port Authority staffers are just emerging from a crisis mode. Many us are still working 12- or 13-hour days, but at least we're not working 20-hour days. Our adrenaline is still pumped up pretty high. As one of my colleagues said to me the other day, "Now that we've made it through this calamity, what do we do for the rest of our lives?"

A Contingency Plan Pays Off

One of those trying to reach the World Trade Center's tenant support shortly after the explosion was Virginia Dzirko, CPM |R~, regional facilities manager for Marine Midland Bank. The bank, a unit of HSBC Holdings, Plc, houses about 150 employees on the 23rd and 24th floors of Twin Tower Two.

Dzirko, who manages 112 properties in six outlying counties plus the five boroughs of New York City, was in her office at Marine Midland's New York City headquarters at 140 Broadway.

"We're less than two blocks away from the Towers, so I did hear a loud bang," she says. "I thought someone had dropped a garbage dumpster." Within minutes, though, Marine Midland's people at World Trade began to telephone, with reports that half the lights on each floor were out and the ventilation system had "totally died."

In turn, Dzirko attempted to reach tenant support, but without success. Five minutes later, assigned floor wardens at Tower Two informed her they'd begun to smell and see smoke. One of Dzirko's colleagues, dispatched to the site, reported that billows of smoke were drifting from exits and that the Fire Department had banned all entry to the Towers.

"Start immediate evacuation," Dzirko told bank staffers.

"We'd practiced a lot, so they knew what to do," she says. In addition to Center fire drills, Marine Midland had held its own exercises. Floor wardens and searchers had taken special safety seminars at the bank with colleagues from other properties. Cool-headed and well-organized, all 150 exited from the same stairwell. Several had pocket flashlights or cigarette lighters to help illuminate their way.

The group was among the earliest out of Tower Two. By 2:00, they'd assembled at 140 Broadway, faces a bit grimy, but otherwise not too much the worse for wear.

Dzirko's first task was persuading the bank's cafeteria to extend its lunch hours for the Tower trekkers: "They were all extremely thirsty. We gave them free drinks and free lunches and told them to relax."

About the only thing that didn't go right the day of the explosion, she says, was the performance of her department's walkie-talkies. "They just don't work well enough beyond our building's perimeters," says Dzirko. "We've now replaced them with cellular phones."

Some of the departments Marine Midland houses at the World Trade Center are deemed "critical" functions. The bank has backup locations, with backup computer systems, for all such critical departments (as required by the Comptroller of the Currency).

The backup site for critical personnel was in Farmingdale, Long Island, and key staff members were bussed there for about a week starting the Monday morning after the blast.

"That also didn't work out too well," relates Dzirko. Getting to the Suffolk County site can require a two-hour commute each way during heavy rush-hour traffic. "Our people didn't like that too much and were exhausted by the time they got there."

After a week, Marine Midland made room for these departments back at the headquarters, where other blast-affected people had already been housed. The first weekend after the explosion, contractors had been hired to alter work space with emergency partitions, outlets, and computer terminals.

Dzirko supervised affected employees' participation in the Center's "escort" program, which allowed tenants to enter the Twin Towers for half-hour periods to retrieve essential supplies.

"There was generally a two- or three-hour wait to go up, and you had to be identified at three or four checkpoints," she says. "I accompanied one group myself on Thursday. Halfway up, our elevator paused for a couple of minutes between floors, which was a little scary."

Lessons from the crisis should serve the bank well in future planning. Says Dzirko, "Our contingency planning committee is considering whether to warehouse space within or closer to headquarters for future crises. Shipping people to remote locations was more burdensome than we had thought it would be. We may also choose to work out more extensive plans for relocating employees in departments deemed non-critical.

"We've been well-prepared for an emergency lasting a week or two. But when space is out of commission 4 1/2 weeks--as was the case in this crisis--it complicates matters considerably."

Beefing Up Security

"You have to make trade-offs between absolute security and what tenants are willing to accept," admits New York City chief of detectives Joseph R. Borrelli, outlining the dilemma facing U.S. property managers. But in the wake of the World Trade Center explosion, additional caution and added protective measures may well be in order.

Borrelli, a respected 35-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, headed its investigation of the terrorist attack. He advises building managers to take an especially close look at underground parking facilities.

"One option might be to eliminate long-term or overnight parking completely," he suggests. "Or you could restrict the parking to tenants and building staff only. In any case, beefing up security is a good idea."

Another key area facilities managers should focus on is mail delivery. "Mail bombs have become all too common--and all too deadly," Borrelli reports. "Packages should be screened at just one building location, and mailroom employees should be suitably trained."

Among possible red flags: packages with no return address; those sent to the "CEO" or "personnel director," without a name specified; and any package or large envelope with what seem to be oil stains. "Explosive devices tend to leak in the mail," explains Chief Borrelli.

Could It Happen Again?

For Steve Lehman, CPM |R~, the lesson of the Twin Towers tragedy is eerily akin to the lyrics of the song "New York New York": If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. "If a building complex as well-managed as the World Trade Center is vulnerable to terrorist attack," comments Lehman, "commercial buildings throughout the U.S. may be vulnerable."

Lehman is currently managing director of the Galbreath Company in Philadelphia. But before taking up this post last year, he worked for Dean Witter Realty Company and was a tenant on the 74th floor of the Center's Tower Two.

"I thought the Port Authority was a superb landlord," says Lehman. "One thing I found impressive, compared to many other buildings, was the way they managed to take care of maintenance unobtrusively, without unduly disturbing tenants. You'd go home one evening, come back the next day, and notice a major painting or electrical job completed--without having heard a sound."

As program chairman for IREM's northern New Jersey chapter, Lehman, who used to live in Ridgewood, N.J., had arranged for groups to tour the "bowels" of the Twin Towers as a special field trip two years running. "Everybody wanted to sign up," says Lehman.

Center managers were cautious about security when he booked IREM's tours, says Lehman. "We had to give them a full list of the attendees, with affiliations. They checked us out pretty thoroughly."

Lehman, who was friendly with one of the Port Authority employees who died in the explosion, says the Galbreath Company is taking "a long, hard look" at its own security in the wake of the tragedy. Among the properties his company manages is Centre Square, which he calls "a smaller-scale World Trade Center."

Indeed, the similarities are striking. Centre Square, the largest commercial complex in Philadelphia, consists of two 40-story towers, with a shopping mall, train station, and underground public parking garage. "We're making a full review of our emergency procedures," reports Lehman.

But the World Trade Center experience leaves him somewhat disheartened. "If skilled terrorists are suicidal and determined, they could probably breach any public building's defenses," he says. "I'd bet they could break into Fort Knox."

The World Trade Center staff wishes to express appreciation to the contractors who assisted Port Authority staff during the emergency, including: City Wide Security Services, Inc.; Fine Painting Company; Hatzel and Buhler, Inc.; National Engineering Company; Ogden Allied Building Services; Otis Elevator; Sherwood Industries; Turner Construction Company; and York International.

Tom Cancelliere joined the Port Authority operations staff 28 years ago. He supervises the World Trade Center's basic building operations, including maintenance staff and contract air conditioning, carpentry, and elevator repair. An active member of BOMA, Cancelliere also teaches property management seminars at New York University.

Douglas Karpiloff has spent 22 years with the Port Authority. A mechanical and industrial engineer by training, he supervises a tenant support staff and a project management staff at the World Trade Center.

Ellen Brandt, Ph.D., is a New York-based consultant and journalist. She is a frequent contributor to JPM.
COPYRIGHT 1993 National Association of Realtors
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Title Annotation:includes related articles
Author:Brandt, Ellen
Publication:Journal of Property Management
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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