Canal St. building continues to slowly crumble
Around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, an old, steel, roll-down gate partially detached from the vacant building at the southwest corner of Canal and Greenwich Sts. However, it was a sign of a more serious problem. The gate detached due to the collapse of a wall inside the building, according to Fire Department officials. A fleet of emergency vehicles converged on the scene, including about three fire trucks, several other Fire Department vehicles, a police car and a car from the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management. Firefighters checked out the building and cordoned off the street corner with yellow hazard tape. But there was apparently no order given to demolish the property. Owned by the Ponte family, the historic building has long sat derelict, and shortly before Superstorm Sandy hit town, firefighters were seen spray-painting an orange “X” on scaffolding ringing the structure, warning that the building is highly unsafe and should not be entered. The Pontes own a number of other properties in Tribeca and Hudson Square, as well as F. Illi Ponte restaurant, at Desbrosses and West Sts.