Residents living in a landmarked building in Greenwich Village are unsure of when they’ll be able to return to their homes, and it appears the property owner could have prevented the issue from occurring in the first place.
On Wednesday, an evacuation order was issued for 20 apartments and two commercial spaces at 85 Christopher St.
The Department of Buildings had been called in to investigate after it appeared the facade of the building, which was built around 1900, was buckling.
Following an initial investigation, officials said on Thursday that the supports between the roof level and sixth floor failed, causing the wall of the building to buckle outward.
Department of Buildings officials added that cracking was observed throughout the exterior of the building.
The incident should not have come as a surprise to the property owner, who was issued an Environmental Control Board violation in March, 2013 regarding the failure to maintain the building’s facade.
The property owner owes a $1,000 fine on the violation, the buildings department said.
In January the Department of Buildings issued a DOB violation with a $1,500 civil penalty to the property owner for failure to correct the previous violation relating to the building’s facade. The penalty has yet to be paid, officials said.