As Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church, previously told us, this is a combination demolition-salvage operation. Workers will be sifting through the remains of the building, initially completed in 1892, to save any of the limestone and ironwork for use in the new sanctuary that will eventually rise on the property.
The façade’s arch will reportedly remain untouched.
The six-alarm fire that started in the empty apartment building next door early on Dec. 5, 2020, destroyed many of the church's historic elements, such as the Tiffany-stained glass windows. (The church's Liberty Bell was preserved and is temporarily at the New York Historical Society.)
Demolition work is expected to last two-to-three months.