Alan Prendergast with Westword writes:
…There’s no denying that taking down the 130-year-old hospital complex — nearly a million square feet of various structures, from various eras — was one hell of a demolition job.
A recent article in the trade journal Construction & Demolition Recycling gives some idea of the challenges faced by the developer,EnviroFinance Group, as well as the site’s demolition firm, Fiore & Sons, and abatement contractor, Hudspeth & Associates — everything from ancient asbestos to tunnels that weren’t on any plans to dust control.
EFG made a commitment to recycle many of the materials found on the site, thereby saving thousands of truckloads of rubble that would otherwise be dispatched to landfills. Fiore ended up pulverizing an estimated 30,500 tons of concrete onsite — available as fill and infrastructure for the coming construction of apartments, retail and offices — as well as salvaging tons of metal, asphalt, and stone now piled on the leveled site.
A camera mounted on a rooftop just off-site also took some revealing time-lapse video over a period of months, documenting the steady progress of trackhoe excavators as they nibbled away at the hospital wings like insects devouring a foe. A short version of the demo, which shows a great deal of hosing down the site for dust suppression, can be found on the development website; but the five-minute version below has its advantages, including some well-lit nighttime scenes.
The project actually required a dozen phases of abatement and demolition because of the many layers of add-on construction as the hospital evolved over the years. But armchair demo junkies can now track months of labor in a few minutes.