Emergency Rehab of Burned-out 70 Mulberry Street Resumes
Chinatown, and the city at large, is increasingly becoming a ghost town, devoid of pedestrians and traffic. Yet, despite the COVID-19 shutdown, work continues at the former PS23, where a devastating five-alarm fire gutted its top floors in January.
The project site is apparently considered an emergency, and granted an exception to Governor Cuomo’s executive order barring construction activity for the duration.
Crews reappeared at 70 Mulberry Street last week and started the task of removing the sections of roof and lower floors deemed unsafe and in danger of collapsing. Contractors did not take any chances with COVID-19 exposure by donning full hazard suits and respirator masks rated for asbestos.
Whether any of the interior structure of the historic 128-year-old building can be saved is unclear, but the hope a full restoration by gut and restore, thus saving the facade.