UPDATE: First steps in Ellis Bros. demolition to begin Friday

By Anna Norris
By Nicky Hickling

May 21, 2014 Updated May 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Demolition of the iconic Ellis Brothers Contemporary Furniture building began Friday. Workers of Peak Environmental based in Owego started the process with what is called hand demolition. It's part of the process to bring the building down in a controlled manner.

Next week, crews will bring in heavy machinery to take down the entire building. According to Jared Kraham, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, it will be a “top-down” demolition, removing floor by floor. If all goes as planned, the building will be down by the end of next week.

On Wednesday afternoon, engineers determined the building, which suffered a massive fire April 30, to be in danger of collapse and needs to be demolished.

"There is concern," said Binghamton Mayor Rich David (R), "the term that has been conveyed to us is 'imminent danger,' so that's obviously something that we take very seriously and that's why we moved quickly to close a portion of the street."

During the demolition, Water Street will remain closed from Court Street to Henry Street. However, The opposite lane will open from Henry Street to Court Street on the Boscov's side of the street after heavy demolition is complete.

Nirchi's on Water Street will be closed for some part of the demolition, but other area businesses will remain open. Boscov’s and the Water Street parking ramp will also stay open, as will Water Street Brewing Co., Old World Deli and Jake’s Wine & Liquors.