Demolition Progresses Rapidly at 116 Second Avenue, Site of East Village Fire

116 Second Avenue on December 12, 2020. Photo by Matt Pruznick

Demolition of the vacant 15-unit, five-story tenement building at 116 Second Avenue is underway after last Sunday’s massive six-alarm fire in the East Village that devastated the adjacent and historic 128-year-old Middle Collegiate Church. The building is now entirely razed and the site has been mostly cleared, with only a pile of brick remaining on the eastern end of the property.

Photographs taken two days after the fire show crews working to remove the rubble from the site of the demolished building. The Middle Collegiate Church’s façade and steeple remain standing with most of the stone work across the profile largely spared of damage. However, everything behind it has been destroyed, with only heavily damaged remains of the walls left.

116 Second Avenue and the Middle Collegiate Church on December 7, 2020. Photo by Matt Pruznick

116 Second Avenue on December 7, 2020. Photo by Matt Pruznick

New pictures from December 12, a week after the fire, show the site almost fully cleared and work proceeding on the removal of debris from the church.

116 Second Avenue on December 12, 2020. Photo by Matt Pruznick

116 Second Avenue on December 12, 2020. Photo by Matt Pruznick

116 Second Avenue on December 12, 2020. Photo by Matt Pruznick

It’s likely that the corner site of 112 Second Avenue will be leveled, left empty, and fenced off for some time, much like 45 East 7th Street, which is located diagonally across the intersection. This is the site of the 2015 gas explosion that destroyed 119, 121, and 123 Second Avenue and killed two people, but is now home to a newly constructed seven-story condominium building designed by Morris Adjmi Architects.

Last week’s three-building blaze required 44 units with 198 firefighters to contain the inferno, and four firefighters suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries.

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TFC Horizon
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6 Comments on "Demolition Progresses Rapidly at 116 Second Avenue, Site of East Village Fire"

  1. David in Bushwick | December 13, 2020 at 9:42 am | Reply

    Just horrible.
    Save the church facade. Build a new sanctuary behind with housing above to help the church financially.
    Make something good out of this.

  2. The most likely scenario is the church sellsto a res developer. The facade and steeple is preserved and restored and a 10 story-ish residential building holds that corner and wraps behind where the sanctuary used to be. Perhaps it will be community space but i have my dpubts the church will rebuild here considering how valuable the RE is.

  3. That corner could handle 32.2 FAR, build a 54 story tower here, mixed use, and build on the southern half of Tompkins Square Park four 33 story towers, problem solved.

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