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?
Multiple buildings imploded at the same time with multiple different camera views? Sounds like the making of a great demolition video.
Demolition by implosion videos are always fun to watch. Adding an element of water makes them even more dramatic, though it’s probably not great for the ecosystem. Late last week, a one mile long, 23 year-old bridge in China was imploded in front of a crowd of spectators and caught on camera.
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
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.