For those who may have read and wondered, I consulted with a few others and a Camping World in NY State and found out the shelf wasn't structural in nature. After i removed the front thck crosspiece by hand (nailed strip, no sealant or glue), I carefully (where I could) worked backwards from original assembly, lifting off little trim strips and smaller pieces and kept working the main shelf loose. Finally took a rubber mallet and progressively harder taps to see what moved and where. Eventually got it out and tapped the original fascia piece over the same space between the wardrobe closets. Total time= about an hour. A couple of full length trim pieces didn't out so well as they were screwed from behind...but I would have never seen them. The wife did post inspection and gave it a pass. A piece of tape CW put on the shelf front stuck too much and pulled the cover wood-look paper off, which doesn't look great...but I can lay on the bed and not have my feet/mattress under them dangle in the night.