Demolition starting on Essex House in Holyoke

Short term goal: take down top 3 floors

The collapsed side of the Essex house, as seen from High Street.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Demolition crews set up in Holyoke Friday, three weeks after the partial collapse of the vacant Essex House Hotel on High Street.

There are two pieces of heavy equipment outside the vacant deteriorating building at 400 High Street. One of them is a crane. The other is a tall bucket lift.

The area around the building is fenced off, and High Street is closed between Essex and Appleton Streets.

In the short term, demolition crews will remove the top three floors of the eight-story building. Once that part’s complete, the area should be safe enough for residents and businesses to come back.

“This is a major step for the City of Holyoke, and for businesses on High Street,” Mayor Alex Morse wrote in a statement. “The City will continue to do what it can to expedite the process and ensure a safe and prompt demolition.”

A center section of the Essex House collapsed on the morning of December 11th, 2014. The collapse left a gaping gash that runs from the roof to the top of the third level of the brick building.

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