Saffron is New York's color this week, as visitors pour through "The Gates," the public art project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude that celebrates walking in Central Park. The $21 million project - which includes a $3 million gift to the Central Park Conservancy and Parks Department - features 7,500 gates, made from steel frames and saffron orange sheets, spanning 23 miles of pathways.
Workers from the LMT-Mercer Group, based on Puritan Avenue (between Brunswick Pike and Route 1), are especially proud to take this tour, says LMT's Jim Fattori, because they helped make the gates - providing 15,000 base-covers from saffron-colored styrene plus 30,000 iridescent orange safety markers. The markers help make the frames visible in the snow and dark.
"It's impressive, the sheer quantity of it and the expanse of it," says Fattori, the vice president of engineering. "It was very well organized." The project engineers were "just a pleasure to work with," he says. "They extended every courtesy. We had some difficulty matching the color - we had to sample it three or four times. And when we had molded 7,500 of the safety flags, at the last minute they decided to put two on each block and we molded 7,500 more, very quickly."
The son of a mechanical engineering consultant, Fattori majored in industrial engineering at Northeastern University, Class of 1979. He says that LMT-Mercer was recommended to the project by other vendors because it is the single leading supplier of PVC fence accessories in the US.
The LMT-Mercer Group consists of Lawrence Mold and Tool Corporation and Mercer Molding, founded in 1972 by Ukrainian-born George Lesenskyj Sr. and restructured in 1989 by Tony and George Lesenskyj. Its products are designed in-house, and it has 50 full-time toolmakers and machiners who use CAD/CAM techniques to make multi-cavity plastic injection molds.
The actual products are molded by the sister company, Mercer Molding, which has 14 injection molding machines, ranging from 60 to 720 tons, equipped with full robotics, and its customers include those in the automotive, consumer, electronic and medical industries.The artists Christo and Jeanne Claude, who have lived in New York City since 1964, proposed the first version of their project in 1979 and were turned down (U.S. 1, March 20, 2002 and
www.princetoninfo.com.christo.html). But meanwhile they wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin and planted temporary umbrellas in Japan and California, and when Michael Bloomberg became mayor, their hopes for "The Gates" were fulfilled. The design pays tribute to the Frederick Law Olmsted's organic design for Central Park, sometimes called "Manhattan's lung" because it is rimmed by huge buildings.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude will sign their books at the Metropolitan Museum Book Shop on Friday, February 18, at 7 p.m., and at the Guggenheim on Friday, February 25, at 4:45 p.m. Uniformed employees are distributing a swatch of "The Gates" fabric, purchased and donated by the artists, to the first 1 million visitors.
Though the "The Gates" is made for walking, a $5 Gray Line trolley ride allows visitors to ride through the park, getting on and off at any point. Tickets are on sale on Fifth Avenue at the southeast corner of the park.
LMT Mercer Group, Lawrenceville 08648. Jim Fattori, director of engineering. 609-989-0399; fax, 609-989-1199. Home page: www.lmtproducts.com
IH Engineers PC, 103 College Road East, Princeton 08540. Iftekhar Hossain PE, president. 609-734-8400; fax, 609-734-8405. Home page: www.ihengineers.com
In December IH Engineers expanded from Princeton Meadows Office Center to 5,300 square feet in Princeton Forrestal Center. Founded in 1997 as Integrated Engineering, it has 30 employees in New Jersey, about 16 here.
Iftekhar Hossain, the president, graduated in 1980 from the Engineering University in Bangladesh and has a master's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He worked for consulting firms and public agencies before starting his own infrastructure and construction management firm. Among the company's recent projects: the Quakerbridge and Meadow Road overpasses. Services include civil and highway engineering, traffic engineering, construction inspection and
management, mechanical and electrical engineering, and structural/bridge engineering.
Pension Key Services, 100 Overlook, Second Floor, Princeton 08540. Peter Farago. 609-683-5211; fax, 734-758-1524. Home page: www.pension-key.com
The pension actuarial consulting firm expanded its two-person office from 4 Princess Road to the second floor at 100 Overlook Center, part of Regus space. The phone is new.
Farago does compliance testing and consulting for pension plans and 401k plans in 21 states; it calculates liabilities and expenses for private pension plans for midsize companies. In 1984 Farago had founded another firm, Johnson & Farago, which did full service administration for 401k plans that used the trade name Web401k. He sold the business in 1999 and it operates under the name Web401k at 300 Alexander Road.
eZe Systems Inc., 4390 Route 1 South, Suite 290, Princeton 08540. K.R. Shibu, vice president. 609-720-9100; fax, 501-639-7311. Home page: www.ezesystems.com
The software development firm moved from Research Park to Route 1 South last month. It focuses on electronic content management, and its clients include pharmaceutical firms, media, and banks and other financial institutions.
A graduate of the College of Engineering, Trivandrum, Kerala, Class of 1993, K.R. Shibu has an MBA from ICFAI in Hyderabad. He came to this country in 1998 to do business development for a multinational firm; he is married and has a preschool son.
Shibu helped found this company in 2000, and of the 40 employees nationwide, about seven work here now. It also has an office in Kerala that focuses on health care - business process outsourcing. Leaving Town
Globsyn Technologies Inc., P.O. Box 262, Jersey City, NJ 07303-0262. Home page: www.globsyn.com
Globsyn Technologies moved from Princeton Meadows Office Center last September and lists only a post office box number in Jersey City, plus a physical address in Calcutta, India. No telephone number is listed in the Princeton or Jersey City areas. At one point 15 employees were working as consultants, and this office was the U.S. marketing headquarters.
William H. Bleacher, 82, on February 10. He had been a chemical technician at RCA.
John Michael Moore, 64, on February 13. He was senior vice president of institutional lending at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.