There are certain perks to being the mayor of a large city. For example, in New York City, the mayor gets to live in an official residence known as Gracie Mansion. The site of Gracie Mansion originally housed a different mansion known as Belview Mansion. This first mansion overlooked the Hell Gate channel of the East River, as does the current mayoral residence. This was of such strategic importance, then-general George Washington took control of the grounds during the American Revolutionary War. The mansion was ultimately destroyed during the war, and, in 1799, Gracie Mansion was constructed as a second home for Archibald Gracie. Eventually, he sold it to the City of New York, and it later became the mayor’s residence.
Gracie Mansion has been renovated over the years several times, most recently during mayor Bloomberg’s tenure, and it was funded by an anonymous donation many suspect to be Bloomberg. It was also the site of much media attention during a scandal involving former mayor Rudy Giuliani and his mistress. Gracie Manson is once again in the news – this time because of the discovery of asbestos.
According to a recent news article from the New York Post, deadly asbestos has been found in the roof of Gracie Mansion. The roof had been the source of many leaks over the years and had been patched numerous times. As our Boston mesothelioma injury lawyers can explain, asbestos and asbestos-containing products were heavily used in the residential and commercial construction industry during much of the last century. Asbestos was cheap to mine and cheap to refine into commercial and industrial products. It is a naturally occurring substance comprised of six silica elements. The reason it was used was because the substance has a very high natural resistance to heat, fire, caustic chemicals, and electricity. It was seemingly perfect to use as an insulation material. This meant it could be used in roofing materials, attic and wall insulation, electrical products, pipe insulation, walls and wall joint compounds, and numerous other products in the construction industry.
While those are the helpful qualities of asbestos, its harmful qualities far outweigh the beneficial ones. Asbestos fibers are now known to be highly toxic. Once the fibers are inhaled, they become lodged in the lining of the lungs and other tissue known as the mesothelium.
Over a period of 20 to 50 years, they can develop into a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. They can also cause a severe scarring to the lining of lungs in a condition know as asbestosis. New medical research also suggests asbestos is responsible for any number of serious respiratory illnesses, which can result in severe pain and suffering and, potentially, death.
As for Gracie Mansion, the city has now allocated $250,000 to complete the costly asbestos abatement process and replace the aging roof. The mayor and his family have chosen to remain in the mansion during the abatement process, and this will require certified asbestos removal contractors to use extreme caution to make sure the family is not exposed to the deadly fibers during the abatement process.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Asbestos Discovered in Gracie Mansion Roof, Apr. 10, 2015, New York Post
More Blog Entries:
Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp.: Actual and Proximate Causation in Mesothelioma Litigation, July 21, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog