A crowbar fell from a 35-story building under construction on Manhattan’s East Side Thursday, striking a taxi and sending one person to the hospital. … The company in charge of the project, The Gilbane Company, released a statement…

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Update:  More Trouble for Gilbane in NYC and Beyond

Since we last posted, Gilbane has been busy hiring lawbreaking subcontractors, and finding itself in hot water in New York City and across the country.  Recent events include:

  • A Nebraska couple is suing Gilbane, claiming that the company caused their house to explode;
  • Gilbane hit for multiple violations at Macklowe Properties’ 200 East 59th Street condominium project, including violations in connection with falling debris that broke the windshield of a parked car;
  • Gilbane agrees to pay millions to a San Diego County school district in connection with a 2011 pay-to-play scandal;
  • A crane contractor with a record of cheating workers out of wages and questionable safety practices is working at Gilbane’s WeWork project at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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Gilbane Building Company is one of the nation’s largest general contractors and construction managers, generating an estimated $3.8 billion in yearly sales.¹ Since the company’s founding in 1873, the firm has been run by five generations of the Gilbane family. Over their firm’s 140 year history, the Gilbanes have become fabulously wealthy through their construction business and the labor of thousands of workers.  The Gilbane family is valued at $1.4 billion, making them one of the 150 richest families in the United States3 and the seventh wealthiest in New England.4

Unfortunately, a number of troubling episodes lie beneath the veneer of Gilbane’s great American family success story. Gilbane Building Company says that “integrity”5 and safety6 are among its “core values.” But a deeper look shows that the firm may not always live up to its principles:

In promotional materials, the company says that “Gilbane Cares is our philosophy built on the belief that everyone — our employees, clients, partners, and the public — deserves a safe, healthy and secure work environment.”10  With its tremendous wealth, Gilbane has ample resources to put this philosophy into practice. But browse these pages and decide for yourself whether “Gilbane Cares” enough about integrity and the well-being of its subcontracted workforce.


1. www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/revenue-financial.gilbane_building_company.d6a8d3fbab03b65e.html
2. www.privco.com/gilbane-inc-inside-the-139-year-old-family-owned-construction-giant-generating-44-billion-in-annual-revenuemaking-the-gilbane-family-billionaires-according-to-privco-research-its-secrets-for-how-the-company-has-thrived-through-5-generations-of-family-lead
3. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2686395/Americas-wealthiest-families-revealed-From-Rockefellers-Kennedys-185-clans-worth-1billion-yes-Republicans.html
4. www.golocalprov.com/business/the-9-richest-families-in-new-england
5. www.gilbaneco.com/one-family/gilbane-stats-by-the-numbers/
6. www.gilbaneco.com/build-with-us/overview/safety-gilbane-cares/industry-commitment/; See the block quote from Thomas F. Gilbane on the right-hand panel.
7. Backup is in the first half of the “History” section of the website.
8. Backup is in the second half of the “History” section of the website.
9. Backup is in the “Contractors” section of the website.
10. www.gilbaneco.com/build-with-us/overview/safety-gilbane-cares/