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Brookline Building Façade Collapse Displaces 34 BU Students

Three buildings on Egmont Street roped off pending assessment


Updated September 15, 4:30 p.m.: Officials say the 34 BU students displaced from their apartments at 68-72 Egmont St., Brookline, today by a partial façade collapse will need alternate housing at least through the weekend. The Dean of Students (DOS) office is working with the students to make sure they all find other quarters for what is hoped to be a brief shutdown while the building is assessed and the damaged area is stabilized. A DOS staffer will be on call through the weekend at 617-353-4126 for students needing answers or assistance.

Although no one was hurt, perhaps two dozen BU students were displaced when part of the façade of a privately owned apartment building at 68-72 Egmont Street in Brookline collapsed midday today.

Large chunks of the masonry façade around the roofline crashed to the sidewalk just before noon, bringing the Boston University Police Department and the Brookline Police and Fire Departments to the scene.

“I was sitting inside my apartment, and I felt the entire building shake. It felt like an earthquake,” says Aimee Manderlink (ENG’18), who lives on the first floor at 68 Egmont.

“My window doesn’t look out to the front of the building, but my neighbor, whose window looks out the front, texted me,” Manderlink says. “He said to get outside, because the fire department was evacuating the building. We had to leave through the back door. We’re not allowed back in our apartment for the night.”

A temporary shelter for displaced BU students has been established at the Information Services & Technology Center at 179 Amory St., Brookline, where information, support, and food are being made available. Affected students or their parents can call the Dean of Students office at 617-353-4126 for information.

There are 12 apartments in the 3-story building, which was built in the 1920s. It was not immediately clear how many BU students live there. A representative of landlord Kafai Management reportedly was assisting officials, but there was no answer at the management company’s phone number.

Adjacent buildings at 64-66 and 74-76 Egmont were temporarily evacuated, but by midafternoon tenants in those buildings were being allowed back inside. They were required to use the back doors, however, as the town of Brookline was bringing in a crane to remove additional debris still attached to the building and to conduct further structural checks.

Structural engineers under contract to the Brookline Building Department have been brought in to assess all three buildings.

Joel Brown, writer, BU Today at Boston University
Joel Brown

Joel Brown can be reached at jbnbpt@bu.edu.

5 Comments on Brookline Building Façade Collapse Displaces 34 BU Students

  • Walt Whitman on 09.15.2017 at 5:37 pm

    Joel: I called TOB ten years ago after I noticed debris in front of that building. They never followed up on it…

  • MITCHELL HORWIN on 09.15.2017 at 6:47 pm

    My son is there. Please provide updated info when available. Thank you.

  • Jerry Rooney on 09.15.2017 at 10:18 pm

    Whew! Could have been fatal!!

  • Tom on 09.16.2017 at 11:00 am

    About a decade ago the cornice of an apartment building on Huntington Ave across from Northeastern University collapsed. No one was injured. The roof of that building was being replaced at the time and it was believed that the workmen loosened some structural component. Was work being done on this building?

  • LarryO on 09.18.2017 at 9:21 am

    Just about the entire length of that block of Egmont Street is the exact same building style, probably all built at the same time. The same building design continues around the corner on St. Paul Street, for the entire length of that block. Are the building owner(s) going to be required to put up protective scaffolding along the sidewalks and building entrances of both streets?

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