The historic Famous Grouse Hotel in Lincoln has been torn down after being irreparably damaged in last Saturday's earthquake.
About 200 people, including students and local residents, gathered to watch a digger begin the demolition at about 10 o'clock on Friday morning.
Co-owner/manager Craig Bradford says it's heartbreaking to see the end of the 127-year-old hotel, a Lincoln icon and the second oldest hotel in Canterbury.
But he knew as soon as building inspectors visited on Sunday, he says, that it could not be saved.
Mr Bradford says a new hotel will be built on the same site.