Leaning tower of pizza to be fixed

Leaning tower of pizza to be fixed
Photo by Brittany Somerset

They’re going to fix the leaning tower of pizza!

Owners of the four-story Graham Avenue home of Motorino, which has been tilting toward Devoe Street for 16 years, have hired an architect to finally stabilize the building.

City inspectors first noticed the building was leaning westward about four inches in 1994 and slapped its landlord with an $875 fine.

But by last September, the gap between the building and its direct neighbor had grown to nearly a foot — and the city’s fine soared to $10,000.

It tilted so far that Motorino’s workers had trouble opening and closing the restaurant’s front door and windows.

This spring, contractors will build a four-foot wide approach pit, crawl underneath the existing foundation, and add some concrete until it sets.

Architect Harold Weinberg said the work was a “routine procedure.”

“The restaurant wouldn’t be affected,” said Weinberg. “All the work is going to be enclosed underground. It’s a routine procedure.”

A city spokeswoman said those plans are currently under review.

The building’s landlord and the restaurant’s chef, Mathieu Palombino, declined to comment, but said last year that he was hoping to eventually have tables on the sidewalk once the building is repaired.

Locals have taken to calling the building “The Leaning Tower of Pizza,” an apparent reference to the freestanding, but askew, bell tower in the Piazza del Duomo in the northern Italian city of Pisa, a structure that was already being called “The Leaning Tower of Pisa” soon after construction began in 1173. There is servicable pizza nearby.

The namesake structure in Pisa, Italy.