Corning Tower

Albany, NY

Vertical Access was retained by Rosenwasser/ Grossman Consulting Engineers (RGCE) to investigate the vertical Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) tracks at the columns on the exterior façades to assess whether there are any potential points of blockage.

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Building description

Corning Tower, officially the Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd Tower, is a state office building at the southeast corner of Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY. Designed by Harrison & Abramovitz as part of the complex of buildings that make up the center of New York State government, the Corning Tower was known as “Tower Building” from its completion in 1966 until its renaming in 1983. The 44-story building has glass windows and spandrels, with projecting columns clad in Vermont marble. Vertical steel “C”-shaped tracks that are part of the original BMU are attached to the outer face of every other column.

Scope of work

  • Lowered and raised a custom-modified trolley down each of the 92 vertical BMU tracks at the exterior of the Corning Tower to assess whether there are any potential points of blockage.
  • Performed a hands-on survey at eighteen tracks, representing 20% of the total number of tracks.
  • Documented conditions such as loose fasteners, track alignment, and corrosion as part of the close visual inspection.

Building owner

State of New York, Office of General Services

In collaboration with

  • Rosenwasser/Grossman Consulting Engineers
  • Lerch Bates