The demolition of Gertel's Bakery has been halted. Well, work on the former Gertel's has been stopped by the Department of Buildings as there is nothing left of Gertel's. The remains of the building were turned to rubble with a Stop Work Order in place. The photo above is a building inspector on the right, who is described as being "pissed," asking a worker: "How are you going to fix this sidewalk?" The tipster who sent the photos describes the scene in brilliant detail:
It was an exciting morning at 53 Hester Street. The demolition crew came smashing in at 7 a.m. with heavy machinery, shaking people in adjacent buildings out of bed. They had what was by all appearances a first-time driver at the controls of the excavator, who had the thing free-styling and pounding and wheeling around like a six-year-old with a Tonka-sized version typically does. They tore shit up with reckless abandon until about 10:30 when Buildings Department inspectors came to shut it all down. Turns out they had been issued a stop work order last night and told they could do no more tear-down but only clean up interior debris they had created in demolishing the roof. They obviously availed themselves of a liberal interpretation of "cleaning out interior debris" and took it to mean "reduce the entire building to a smoldering pile of junk." They also had no permit for heavy equipment. The inspectors were irate, yelling at the crew to board up the site, repair the sidewalk they had caved in, and get lost. Inspectors told this bystander that they would be "shut down for ages."There is nothing we can possibly add to that description.