New York City orders the demolition of the Little Italy building that housed the oldest cheese shop in the United States after a partial wall collapse – NBC New York

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  • The building in Little Italy that housed the oldest cheese shop in the United States will be demolished after part of its wall collapsed Wednesday afternoon.
  • Partially collapsing the brick facade is a building at Mulberry and Grand streets that once housed the popular Alleva Dairy cheese shop.
  • According to the DOB, part of the chimney collapse as well as construction work carried out without permits, and without approved engineering drawings or DOB approval, on the first floor and in the basement, destabilized the building structure.

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

Partially collapsing the brick facade is a building at Mulberry and Grand streets that once housed the popular Alleva Dairy cheese shop.

Firefighters responded to a wall collapse Wednesday afternoon, leaving a hole in the side of the building.

A video of the partial collapse showed a hole in the side of the building, the inside of which could be seen. A plywood barrier around the building was also damaged when the bricks fell. There were no reports of anyone being injured, according to investigators.

Days after the partial collapse, the city's Department of Buildings determined that the building's condition 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 on Friday. Construction work inside the building has significantly destabilized the structure. Our engineers have determined that the damaged building now poses an imminent danger to the public, and in order to prevent an uncontrolled collapse, we have ordered the property owners to begin preparations for the emergency demolition of the entire building.

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According to the DOB, part of the chimney collapse as well as construction work on the first floor and in the basement, which were carried out without permits, and without approved engineering drawings or DOB approval, destabilized the building structure.

The work, which was carried out without approved plans or permits, featured a major gut renovation that included new steel beams, steel joints and a steel staircase. DOB engineers determined that the work undermined several structural steel columns in the building's basement and removed supports that were 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 plan to begin demolition work after the weekend.

In March of last year, Alleva Dairy, New York City's oldest cheese shop — considered the oldest in America — was forced to close its doors permanently at this Little Italy location, the only location it had known for 130 years. After financial struggles and legal battles.

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