The Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital first opened its doors in 1876 as a 675,000 square foot facility in Morris Plains, New Jersey. At its peak, it served 7,764 patients at one time. The hospital had been completely unoccupied since 2008, when it was ordered to be closed due to poor conditions and overcrowding. The hospital had been marred in the past by extremely overcrowded conditions, reports of sexual abuse of patients by employees, violence, and patient suicides. Demolition began on the deteriorated building in May of 2015 and finished in November of 2015.
The demolition of the historic building was not without its critics, however. A preservation group, called Preserve Greystone, fought for years to stop the demolition of the building and hoped that it could be converted to housing and office space. After receiving several proposals, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his staff determined that none of the proposals were money makers and approved the demolition. It was estimated that repairs to the building would cost roughly $110 million and the demolition contract was reportedly awarded at around $34 million.
Drone footage of the 7 month long demolition was captured by Jody Johnson, known on Youtube as GlideBy JJ. After the demolition was completed, she had a vision to play the footage in reverse, which was edited by Lisa Marie Blohm. The end result is heartbreaking for architectural lovers, especially since the music and sound clips may remind you of a Sarah McLachlan sung ASPCA commercial. The film has also been selected to be shown at the NYC Drone Film Festival in March of 2016.
What do you think? Would you have approved the building to be demolished or restored?
In January of 2018, ten construction workers were killed and another eight were injured when a bridge spanning the Chirajara canyon in Columbia partially collapsed. That collapse has since been blamed on a poor design, reports have stated. Last week, the remaining sections of the bridge were demolished in dramatic fashion.
A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of the 100 tallest buildings to ever be demolished. One of the most interesting things that I learned while researching for that article was that although Detroit’s Greater Department Hudson Store was not the tallest building on the list (it was #21), it was the tallest on the list to actually be imploded.
In February, JP Morgan Chased announced their plans to demolish their current 52-story headquarters located in Manhattan. Turns out, when that demolition is complete, it will also break the record for the tallest building ever voluntarily demolished.
One thing’s for sure, the only thing better than one structure being demolished is two structures being demolished at the same time. Late last week, a decommissioned Florida Power Plant saw to the implosion of two 462 feet tall cooling towers in spectacular fashion.
Demolitions by implosion seems like the easiest way to knock down a structure, but there is so much preparation that goes into it that even the slightest mistake can have a huge impact. When smokestacks are demolished correctly, it can be a thing of beauty, like when these two silos in Scotland hit each other midair or when this asbestos filled stack was precisely demolished to fall into a pool of water. Things didn’t go so smoothly for demolition crews in Denmark last week, however.
As we’ve seen in the past, demolitions aren’t all about implosions. There are still many manual demolitions that are carried out by skilled excavator operators. The Victoria Street Bridge in Ontario, Canada is a recent example of that.
It’s been a while since we have shared a demolition video on Construction Junkie. We recently discussed a very high profile demolition project, the tallest voluntary demolition on record, which is schedule to start next year and how it is expected to happen, but no videos. Between the cold weather in most of the country and the general lack of interesting demolitions happening, it’s good to finally be back to feeling normal around here.
A couple weeks ago, JP Morgan Chase announced that they planned to demolish their existing 52-story Manhattan headquarters, which is believed to be the tallest voluntary demolition in history, in order to build a 70 story, 2.5 million square foot building in its place. The move left preservationists upset at the idea of scrapping the nearly 60 year old building and others wondering how exactly they were going to safely demolish a building that tall in such a congested and busy area.
This year saw more videos with environmental considerations taken into account, especially over waterways. Instead of imploding entire bridges, the part that spanned over top of the waterway were manually removed. I've also grown an appreciation for in-depth footage of demolitions that occurred under some interesting conditions. Some of the videos below show some extreme creativity to overcome obstacles.
On Sunday, demolition contractors tried to bring down the upper portion of the Pontiac Silverdome, former home to the Detroit Lions, but several of the explosives didn’t ignite and the structure was still upright after the smoke cleared. After videos of the failed demolition were posted online, the internet had a field day.