The Real Deal New York

Residents affected by the O’Neill facade collapse allowed to return home

December 27, 2012 08:30AM

Certain resident of the building at 655 Sixth Avenue, which saw its facade crumble on Christmas Day, were allowed to return home, the Wall Street Journal reported. Engineers determined that the landmarked seven-story building was mostly stable, after a load-bearing column on the first floor inside collapsed Tuesday evening, causing a portion of the structure’s facade block-long building between West 20th and 21st streets to collapse.

Following the collapse residents living on the side of the building that experienced that damage were forced to evacuate. Yesterday, evacuated residents were allowed just 10 minutes to reenter the building and gather belongings and many were concerned about how long repairs would take.

“They’re telling me it could be a couple of weeks” Jamie Salter, 41, told the Journal

The building dates back to 1887 and is named after its owner, Hugh O’Neill. During its long history it housed the city’s first department store and became an establishment of the Ladies Mile Historic District.  In 2007, the building was converted into 49 condo units with ground-floor stores. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron