The owner of the white, Greek Revival building on Utica's Varick Street demolished the building Monday morning.
"There is no permit that was issued on this by the building department so that's a violation. It's an illegal demolition," says Bob Heins, Scenic and Historic Preservation Commission Chairman. "We were emphatic. Do not demolish the building. Fence it off. Make is safe. Come in and talk to us, tell us what you want to do," said Heins, of a meeting last week with building owner, Steven Mancuso.
Mancuso had a condemnation letter from the city regarding the building. But Heins said the owner also had a letter outlining the steps and permissions required before demolition. Heins says he's sad over the loss and the needlessness of it.
"Well, it was built in 1940. 1840s. So it basically wipes that history out," said Heins. "This is the first time i've seen the pile of rubble. That didn't have to happen."
A spokesperson in Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri's office says the corporation counsel is reviewing the situation and that the chief building inspector will be issuing citations in the near future and that codes violations will include fines. A judge will determine civil remedies, meaning the case is headed to court.
Newschannel 2 reached out to the building owner, but did not hear back.