Oct 31 update: Calvary Baptist's buildings will remain closed indefinitely. All services cancelled.
8:30 pm Update: FDNY believes that swaying of the crane is within safety limits and that the top of the crane that is broken will probably hold. Steam and gas lines shut were down on 57th St as a precaution.
7:01 pm Update: witnesses say high wind is shaking construction crane dangling over church. Winds clocked at 67 mph at JFK airport.
Police have evacuated buildings around the crane. A resident in a building across from the crane told A Journey that the building management informed everyone in his building of the need to find another place to stay. At a press briefing Monday evening, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said nothing would be done to secure the crane while the storm descended on the city.
The crane dangles from the construction site of One57, a 90-story building slated to become one of the most expensive addresses in the world.
Calvary Baptist Church is one of the most well-known evangelical churches in the city. It started holding services in 1847. The church moved to the present site in 1883 and a new building was added in the 1920s. The pastor of the church is David Epstein.
“We just don’t want to risk the lives of anybody trying to be a hero and secure it at the moment,” Bloomberg said. “We just cannot secure it. Best we can do is take precautions.”
Bloomberg added that the process of securing the crane could involve building a whole new crane next to it in order to disassemble it — a process that could take time.