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?
Last July, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that undergoing a demolition suddenly fell, amid odd circumstances, and flying debris fatally injured one of the contractor’s project managers. Now, the family of the man killed is filing lawsuits against all parties involved with the demolition, calling it “illegal” and “reckless.”
Demolitions by implosion can be fun to watch when they go right – or wrong – but nearby residents can be greatly affected by the high powered blasts and huge clouds of debris that follow. A few years ago, a botched demolition in England left dozens of nearby residents unable to return to their homes for several days. Last week, an obsolete Steel Basic Oxygen Plant in Weirton, West Virginia is leaving residents in a similar situation.
JPMorgan Chase announced their intentions to tear down their existing 52-story headquarters in Manhattan, New York City early last year. When the demolition is complete, it is widely believed that it will be the tallest building ever to be voluntarily demolished. It’s speculated that the building will be dismantled floor-by-floor, as opposed to imploded, due to obvious safety concerns.
As you may already know, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks officially opened their new home, the Fiserv Forum, for the 2018-2019 NBA season last October. That new stadium is being heralded as the “World’s First Bird Friendly Arena,” due to many of the design features. Well, since the new one is open, we can only expect that the old, non-bird friendly (I’m assuming) arena has overstayed its welcome and has to go.
Let’s get 2019 started with the first building demolition by implosion of the year.
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.