HomeBusinessNYC orders demolition of Little Italy building that once housed historic shop

NYC orders demolition of Little Italy building that once housed historic shop

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What to Know

  • The building in Little Italy that once housed the oldest cheese shop in the United States will be demolished after a portion of its wall collapsed Wednesday afternoon.
  • The partial collapse of the brick facade is of a building located on Mulberry and Grand streets that once housed the famous Alleva Dairy cheese shop.
  • According to the DOB, part of the chimney collapse as well as construction work performed without permits, and without approved engineering plans or DOB approval, on the first floor and in basement destabilized the building’s structure.

The building in Little Italy that once housed the oldest cheese shop in the United States will be demolished after a portion of its wall collapsed Wednesday afternoon.

The partial collapse of the brick facade is of a building located on Mulberry and Grand streets that once housed the famous Alleva Dairy cheese shop.

Firefighters responded to the wall collapsed Wednesday afternoon which left a hole in the side of the building.

Video from the partial collapse showed a hole in the side of the building where one can see inside. A plywood barrier around the building was also damaged when the bricks fell. There are no reports of anybody being hurt, according to investigators.

Days after the partial collapse, the city’s Department of Buildings determined the building’s status was no longer safe.

“Following the partial collapse in Little Italy earlier this week, DOB engineers rushed to the scene and immediately began conducting detailed structural assessments of the damaged building,” the DOB said in a statement Friday. “Unfortunately, the chimney collapse as well as illegal unpermitted construction work found inside the building have significantly destabilized the structure. Our engineers have determined that the damaged building is now posing an imminent hazard to the public, and in order to prevent an uncontrolled collapse we have ordered the property owners to start preparations for an emergency demolition of the entire building.”

According to the DOB, part of the chimney collapse as well as construction work on the first floor and in basement, which was performed without permits, and without approved engineering plans or DOB approval, destabilized the building’s structure.

The work being done without the approved plans or permits featured a major gut renovation that included new steel l-beams, steel joints and a steel staircase. DOB engineers determined that the work underminded multiple structural steel columns in the basement of the building and removed bracing that was necessary for the building’s stability.

Engineers from the DOB concluded that it would not be safe to allow construction workers back inside due to the risk of collapse.

The building’s owners are planning to start the demolition work after the weekend.

It was in March of last year that Alleva Dairy, the oldest cheese shop in New York City — considered the oldest in America — was forced to close its doors for good at this Little Italy location, the only location it has known for 130 years, after financial struggles and court battles.



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