Cat Caper in the Underground

A red circle highlights the tiny kittens after they were discovered underneath an escalator unit at London’s Moorgate station; photo from the Daily Mail.

A lost mother cat found a hideaway she thought would be a safe place to give birth but, according to the Daily Mail, workers at a London underground station who found the mom and her new litter had to act fast to get them out of harm’s way. It seems mama made her “birthing suite” underneath a new escalator unit that was only hours away from a test run.

Mother and kittens, reunited; image courtesy of RSPCA via the Daily Mail

The unit is in the Moorgate station, one of London’s busiest tube stations, which has been undergoing a renovation and expansion to service the Crossrail Elizabeth Line. The workers got in touch with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and animal welfare officer Siobhan Trinnaman responded to the scene. When she arrived, she found the four kittens in the escalator pit, but the mom was nowhere to be seen. “It’s very dangerous for cats, as it’s where the mechanism is to run the escalator,” said Trinnaman. With the escalator test scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening, Trinnaman had to act fast.

“They (the workers) were very concerned that if [the cats] remained there and the escalator was running, they would be injured or killed,” said Trinnaman. “I found the four tiny kittens and moved them to safety before setting a trap for the mum.” After a few hours, the mother was captured and reunited with her babies at the RSPCA’s local facility. The kittens, one girl and three boys, have been named after Tube stations. They are called Bow, Colin, Dale and Earl, after Bow Road, Collindale and Earl’s Court. The staff called the mom “Elizabeth,” after the Elizabeth line. They are trying to locate the owner, because the cat was wearing a collar, though she had no microchip.

Watch a video of the feline foundlings, courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Construction Time-Lapse Released on Hudson Yards Opening Day

The official Hudson Yards construction time-lapse of the enormous New York City development was released today in celebration of its partial opening. EarthCam’s 4K-quality  construction timelapse movie chronicles each stage of the project, starting in December 2012 and continuing to the present day. Challenges included the continual reprogramming of more than 72 unique robotic camera angles positioned around Manhattan’s West Side and across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

The largest private real-estate development in the history of the U.S., Hudson Yards’ main retail portion and the Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s interactive, public sculpture, are now open. Sales have also begun for the multimillion-dollar residences in 35 Hudson Yards, the tallest residential tower rising in the Related/Oxford Properties Group development at more than 1,000 ft. tall.

CTBUH Says 2018 Was a Big Year for Tall Towers

This chart, courtesy of CTBUH, is a graphic representation of 50 years’ worth of tall building (200+ m) construction. Note the explosion in numbers of new skyscrapers over the past decade.

Last year didn’t quite match the record for skyscraper completions we saw in 2017, but an interactive look at 2018 in review, courtesy of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), shows that the tall trend isn’t close to abating. Some of the highlights:

  • 143 buildings of at least 200 m (656 ft.) were completed, just shy of 2017’s record of 147 and bringing the worldwide total to 1,478
  • Of the new buildings, 76% were in Asia
  • China led the world with 88 completions of towers at least 200 m tall; the city of Shenzhen alone had 14, nearly 10% of the worldwide total
  • Among all countries, the United States was a distant second place, with 13 completions
  • China also had the tallest building to complete, the 528-m (1,732-ft.) China Zun in Beijing
  • 19 cities around the world got a new tallest building
  • And, how’s this for a sky-high trend? There were 18 supertalls (skyscrapers standing at least 300 m [984 ft.]) completed worldwide, the most ever in one year.

The future of tall-building construction looks brighter than ever, thanks to the rapid urbanization of the global population. This year appears to be another big year for skyscraper news; check out ELEVATOR WORLD’s Web Exclusive for March.