The Department of Buildings code allows the removal of the fire escapes since the state's Multiple Dwelling Law doesn't require them in non-fireproof buildings like these when there's an interior staircase.
But that doesn't mean it's a smart idea, says Michael Zenreich, of MZ Architects, who was at a Community Board meeting last week when the issue came up, and helped write the city's building code. "Just because it's technically permitted doesn't mean I'd do it," says Zenreich.
"Building codes are a bare minimum, not something to strive for," he adds. "I was very sympathetic with the tenants. I wouldn’t do it as an architect just because you could."
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