Nicholaus Building in Schenectady evacuated due to ‘shift in the building’


SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) –  Still lots of road closures and one lane of Erie Boulevard opened up Friday night. Southbound traffic on Erie Boulevard is ope I-890 to Erie Street.

State St. is also closed in both directions from South Ferry to Broadway.

Police are parked by these areas and advising drivers to avoid the area until further notice.

These streets will remain closed until structural engineers examine the building to figure out the next course of action.

Demolition of an old mattress factory in Schenectady could mean another historic building will have to come down.

The Nicholaus Building in Schenectady is more than 100 years old, and as of Friday night, its future is uncertain.

Photo courtesy of Thai Thai Bistro owner
Photo courtesy of Thai Thai Bistro owner

Officials said the building shifted slightly, and it could have possibly been because of the demolition of another historic building next door.

“And I think this is not safe,” Thai Thai Bistro owner Piyamas De Masi said.

Thai Thai Bistro is a restaurant on the bottom floor of the Nicholaus Building. Inside, a crack snakes across the floor, and tiles fall from the ceiling.

Photo courtesy owner of Thai Thai Bistro
Photo courtesy owner of Thai Thai Bistro

“The building shaking very bad, and the tile fall down on the floor,” De Masi said.

De Masi has owned Thai Thai Bistro for two-and-a-half years. Friday morning, she, her ten employees and three people living above the restaurant were evacuated.

“There has been a little bit of shift in the building,” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said. “We’re doing evaluations, bringing in structural engineers to review the situation that’s in place.”

McCarthy said the shift was detected by sensors put in place because of the demolition next door. De Masi said the project has been affecting business for weeks.

Photo courtesy Thai Thai Bistro owner
Photo courtesy Thai Thai Bistro owner

“We’re not that busy,” she said.

Now, De Masi will lose more business, and she is left wondering if she will ever be able to reopen. It’s a question officials can’t, yet, answer.

“It’s premature,” McCarthy said. “As we have that information we’ll make that available.”

Parts of Erie Boulevard and State Street will remain closed possibly through the weekend until city engineers decide what action to take.

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