The seedy hotel that united a community hell-bent on bringing about its demise was finally torn apart Thursday afternoon.
Construction vehicles began ripping down the infamous Courtesy Hotel in West Hempstead on May 12, as residents and local leaders celebrated the end of their nightmares and the start of a new beginning.
For over a decade, residents led by the West Hempstead Community Support and Civic Association rallied for the crime-ridden hotel to be removed from their neighborhood, working with and sometimes fighting with officials in the Town of Hempstead.
In the end, the people of West Hempstead, including civic and religious leaders, partnered with politicians to eradicate the Courtesy Hotel and devise a plan to reinvigorate the local economy.
Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Ed Ambrosino, West Hempstead Civic President Rosalie Norton and Maria Rigopoulis, of Mill Creek Residential, the developer who purchased the hotel property, gathered at the site Thursday. They watched, along with many residents and other local leaders as Courtesy Hotel underwent the first stage of demolition.
It will take two weeks for the hotel to completely come down and many months before the community will see construction completed on the 150-unit luxury apartment complex that will be erected in its place.
VIDEO: Check out the video report on today's demolition with reactions from the community and its leaders.