After a parking storage collapsed in Decrease Manhattan final month, killing one particular person and injuring 5 others, officers scrambled to test dozens of different garages throughout town for structural issues that would trigger one other catastrophe.

They instantly recognized dozens of garages with potential hazards, ordering some shuttered and shutting off sections of others till their structural defects might be repaired.

Three weeks after the deadly collapse, metropolis officers have revealed little about what they discovered of their sweep. They haven’t recognized the greater than 170 parking constructions they rushed to examine or divulged what situations they found inside them.

However a New York Instances examination of town’s garages has discovered that severe structural issues are widespread — and in lots of instances have been allowed to persist uncorrected for years. Reporters analyzed tens of millions of rows of information on constructing inspections and violations, interviewed structural engineers and former metropolis officers and reviewed Buildings Division data, and recognized greater than three dozen garages throughout town which have been cited just lately for crumbling ceilings, uncovered and rusting reinforcing bars and different defects.

At one storage on Manhattan’s Higher West Aspect, an inspector touring the construction earlier this month occurred throughout a 12-inch-by-18-inch chunk of concrete that had fallen from the constructing’s ceiling, metropolis data present. Even so, that parking construction — like almost the entire different garages recognized by The Instances — remained in operation final week, not topic to any metropolis evacuation order.

Greater than 20 garages have been cited for violations that counsel they had been generally exceeding their capability, a apply that was underneath investigation as a potential consider final month’s collapse. In at the very least six instances, inspectors discovered so many automobiles packed right into a storage that exits on a number of ranges had been fully blocked, the data present.

One other two dozen garages had open enforcement instances pending in opposition to them for years with none obvious follow-up. Inspectors visited them once more solely after the April 19 collapse at 57 Ann Road, elevating questions concerning the effectiveness of town’s code enforcement practices.

The Ann Road storage itself had a number of excellent violations that appeared by no means to have been corrected earlier than the collapse, together with a case from 2003 by which inspectors cited the constructing for cracked, degraded and faulty concrete. A consultant of the corporate that operated the storage, Little Man Parking, didn’t reply to requests for remark.

In interviews and statements, house owners and operators of different garages defended the protection of their constructions, enjoying down the hazards documented by metropolis inspectors or saying the Buildings Division’s data had been inaccurate.

Metropolis officers didn’t reply to questions concerning the inspection and enforcement course of or clarify why some garages had been allowed to proceed working regardless of being flagged for structural issues.

The officers have but to find out what precipitated the collapse on Ann Road or say what number of automobiles the storage was holding when its concrete failed. Photos and video from the scene confirmed dozens of automobiles and S.U.V.s on its roof when it gave method.

Data present there have been greater than 300 multistory garages working throughout New York Metropolis final week. A spokesman for the Buildings Division, Andrew Rudansky, mentioned inspectors had visited 187 garages for the reason that collapse, ordering three shut fully and sections of 12 others closed off till they might be made protected. He mentioned inspectors additionally cited different garages for violations of metropolis codes however declined to say what number of or how severe the violations had been.

Till this 12 months, house owners of parking garages within the metropolis weren’t mandated to have skilled engineers examine their constructions and file stories to the Buildings Division. That modified with an area regulation enacted in 2021 that requires house owners of garages in Decrease Manhattan, Midtown and on the Higher West Aspect to begin these stories by the tip of this 12 months. For garages in the remainder of Manhattan and Brooklyn, the deadline is Dec. 31, 2025. These within the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island have till the tip of 2027.

With out mandated inspections, violations had been caught by town provided that work was being carried out on a storage or a proactive proprietor employed an engineer to evaluate situations, inspectors mentioned. Some violations had been the results of a grievance referred to as into town’s 311 line. However it might be troublesome for purchasers to be taught of deteriorating situations in most garages as a result of entry to higher ranges is restricted to storage workers.

The Buildings Division shuttered a storage underneath an condominium constructing on East eightieth Road on the Higher East Aspect solely after an engineer employed by the proprietor reported unsafe situations there, in accordance with a report. Metropolis inspectors discovered water harm to the muse partitions and decided that the doorway ramp was “not structurally steady,” the report mentioned.

Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president and a sponsor of the inspection laws as a member of the Metropolis Council, mentioned the deadlines for the primary spherical of inspections had been stretched out to provide the Buildings Division time to course of them. However now, within the wake of the Ann Road collapse, he mentioned he thought the inspection course of “ought to undoubtedly be accelerated.”

Mr. Levine urged that the entire metropolis’s oldest garages, irrespective of their location, should be required to have thorough inspections by the tip of the 12 months.

“It’s time to place into place better protections,” he mentioned.

Some engineering consultants mentioned such necessities had been overdue.

“It couldn’t have occurred quickly sufficient. There are quite a lot of buildings with points,” mentioned Muhammad Rahal, a structural engineer licensed by the Buildings Division to conduct parking storage inspections. “Loads of issues might be found.”

Mr. Rahal, who has been inspecting buildings for 20 years, mentioned it was solely a matter of time earlier than a storage collapse occurred just like the one on Ann Road “given the variety of buildings of that age which can be supporting quite a lot of autos.”

“I simply hope that now extra of those constructing house owners will take it extra severely,” Mr. Rahal mentioned.

The storage that collapsed on Ann Road final month was almost 100 years previous, however it was not distinctive in that regard.

The Instances recognized greater than 40 multistory parking constructions throughout town of the identical age or older, together with some that had been initially used to carry carriages and the horses that pulled them.

A constructing’s age isn’t all the time an indicator that it’s in poor situation. One of many oldest garages within the metropolis, a five-story constructing at West seventy fifth Road and Amsterdam Avenue that was designed in 1888 because the New York Cab Firm Secure, had no open enforcement instances on file for severe violations.

Others, although, have been cited for structural weaknesses and different hazardous situations. Metropolis data present that greater than a dozen of town’s oldest garages have been flagged for such violations, however the data don’t embrace proof that the issues had been ever corrected.

The 117-year-old Monterey Storage, on West 89th Road, is a primary instance. Metropolis data present that it had an open violation from 2005 for bricks in its facade that had been “unfastened, skewed and bulging.”

After the Ann Road collapse, an inspector discovered a big chunk of concrete that had fallen from a ceiling and been left on the ground and metal within the cellar of the five-story constructing that was “totally deteriorated,” the inspector reported. However the Buildings Division allowed the storage to proceed working, in accordance with its data.

The proprietor of the Monterey Storage, Kenny Mance, mentioned it was “in the identical situation it was in 40 years in the past.” He mentioned the intense violations had been present in a utility room beneath the bottom parking degree and could be repaired after an evaluation by an engineer this week.

Metropolis officers have documented comparable issues in different growing older garages however allowed them to proceed working, in some instances for years.

At a 113-year-old storage on Charles Road in Greenwich Village, data present that officers noticed cracked ceilings and uncovered rebar on each degree together with 18 different violations courting to 1988 however documented no proof that any of the issues had ever been addressed.

When a metropolis inspector visited the storage earlier this month, the inspector discovered crumbling ceilings, “extreme rust” and cracks within the partitions on the third degree, data present. A consultant for the corporate that operates the storage, Impark, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

A 101-year-old storage on West 181st Road in Washington Heights nonetheless had open enforcement instances courting again to 2006 and had been topic to a partial evacuation order since 2012, when a metropolis official found 10 automobiles parked on a roof that was not accredited to carry them. Data present the inspector was denied entry to test situations on the roof throughout a go to in 2021.

David Saperstein, the operations supervisor for the constructing’s administration firm, Park It, mentioned town’s data had been outdated and didn’t replicate the steps the corporate had taken to adjust to the order. He added that the roof was cleared of automobiles the day after the vacate order was issued.

A 3rd storage — a five-level construction on Chrystie Road in Chinatown that was constructed within the Twenties — had three open enforcement instances for crumbling concrete, cracks on the roof and different violations when an inspector visited it on Might 2 and found extra structural flaws, together with uncovered metal beams and reinforcing bars on each degree, data present. A consultant of the corporate that owns the storage, MTP Funding Group, mentioned it had employed an engineering agency to deal with the inspector’s findings however termed them a “beauty” concern.

One frequent trait among the many metropolis’s oldest buildings was using a sort of concrete that’s particularly prone to deterioration if not correctly maintained.

It was made out of cement blended with cinders from metal furnaces, mentioned Dan Eschenasy, the previous chief structural engineer for town’s Division of Buildings and its Division of Design and Development. The cinder concrete was lighter, and possibly cheaper, than concrete made with gravel, so it was used for flooring and roofs, Mr. Eschenasy mentioned.

However cinder concrete is extra porous than stone concrete, making it extra susceptible to water and salt, which automobiles carry into garages. As water and salt seep into concrete, they’ll corrode the steel reinforcements, making them broaden. That strain could cause the encompassing concrete to spall — or crumble — usually the primary signal of the underlying structural downside.

Even previous cinder concrete can stay sturdy when maintained and shielded from the weather, Mr. Rahal, the inspector, mentioned. He mentioned he had usually discovered {that a} lack of weatherproofing of concrete slabs might permit water to seep in and result in severe structural harm.

With no protecting layer or waterproofing, Mr. Rahal mentioned, “water and salt will get into that concrete slab and switch that slab into mush.”

He mentioned he noticed these results particularly when inspecting constructions constructed within the Twenties, when storage development boomed as automobiles turned extra standard.

“They’ve bought dangerous spalls, they’ve bought reinforcement that’s corroded,” he mentioned. “It’s all as a result of the proprietor didn’t keep the constructing correctly.”

Structural issues weren’t contained to the oldest parking buildings within the metropolis, The Instances discovered.

An evaluation of metropolis knowledge spanning greater than 18 million enforcement actions confirmed that greater than 175 garages had recorded at the very least one violation of town’s constructing code over the previous 20 years.

About 130 of the parking constructions had been cited two or extra occasions for hazardous situations or packing in additional automobiles than had been allowed.

The data additionally supplied hints of what metropolis officers had been discovering within the aftermath of the Ann Road collapse.

On Might 1, an inspector visited the two-level storage underneath the 36-story Trump Plaza, an Higher East Aspect condominium constructing developed by Donald J. Trump within the mid-Eighties, and located “a state of disrepair,” with chunks of concrete lacking from the ceiling and indicators that water had penetrated the partitions.

A person who recognized himself because the supervisor of the Trump Plaza storage referred inquiries to the storage operator, Enterprise Parking. A consultant of Enterprise didn’t reply to a request for remark.

When the Buildings Division introduced on April 28 that it had discovered unsafe situations in 4 garages and ordered them to be emptied out partially or fully, two of them had been beneath pretty trendy condominium buildings.

The storage at 225 Rector Place, the place inspectors discovered “extensively corroded” concrete and spalling on the underside of two ceilings, is within the decrease ranges of a 25-story residential constructing erected in 1986. The Buildings Division ordered sections of the storage be closed off till they might be repaired.

The Buildings Division additionally ordered that components of the storage underneath an eight-story condominium constructing at 50 Bayard Road in Manhattan be closed off for repairs after discovering “quite a few severely deteriorated and rusted metal beams, with extreme cracked and spalling concrete piers in numerous areas.” That constructing is 61 years previous.

In early Might, the Buildings Division adopted up on a tip from a tv reporter and located unsafe situations, together with assist columns both lacking or corroded, in a storage at 143 West fortieth Road, close to Instances Sq.. That discovery provoked an order for the quick closing-off of components of 4 ranges of the nine-story construction, Mr. Rudansky mentioned.

The fortieth Road storage, just like the one on Bayard Road, is managed by Icon Parking, which says it’s the largest storage operator within the metropolis, with greater than 200 areas. An organization spokesman, Ed Tagliaferri, mentioned the agency was working with the Buildings Division and its landlords to make sure its garages had been protected.

Among the many elements officers are investigating within the Ann Road collapse is whether or not the constructing’s roof deck was overloaded on the time of the failure. If the parking construction was over its capability, it might not have been an outlier among the many metropolis’s garages, data and interviews present.

With parking charges as excessive as $50 a day and exceeding $1,000 a month in additional crowded components of town, storage house owners have an incentive to squeeze as many automobiles into their constructions as potential. The search to maximise earnings has motivated house owners to overstuff their garages, in some instances by including lifts with out the right permits.

The Instances discovered at the very least 25 garages with violations associated to extra occupancy or the set up of lifts and not using a allow. Lifts permit garages to stack one automotive above one other, presumably doubling the variety of automobiles they’ll maintain, but in addition including considerably to the load their constructions should bear.

The Ann Road storage was cited in 2009 for exceeding its said capability and within the following 12 months acquired permission to put in 34 lifts, in accordance with metropolis data. The license for the four-level Ann Road storage indicated that its said capability was 276 autos.

As inspectors continued their enforcement sweeps, the Buildings Division was utilizing “each device at our disposal to guard the general public,” the company’s spokesman, Mr. Rudansky, mentioned. However, he acknowledged, there might be harmful situations that haven’t but been addressed.

“Lack of correct upkeep and common repairs at these growing older constructions has in lots of instances led to extreme structural hazards that endanger anybody who steps inside these buildings,” he mentioned.