The hurricane-ravaged condo tower at 1515 South Flagler Dr. tumbled to the ground this morning, and all eyes at Palm Beach Atlantic University looked to the south.
With so many photographers around campus documenting the event, we’re proud to bring you some awesome shots of today’s demolition.
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The skeleton-like 30-story building at 1515 South Flagler Drive will come tumbling down on Valentine’s Day.
Contractors will implode the building with dynamite charges placed on several floors. “We’ve designed the blast for the building to come straight down,” said Mark T. Wilburn of Advanced Explosives Demolition.
In a meeting at West Palm Beach City Hall Tuesday, contractors and city officials spoke to about 60 local residents who came with concerns about the effects of the implosion.
“It’s going to crumble as it comes down,” said Ted E. Lolley, a seismic engineer.
The implosion is set for 9 a.m. City officials will ask some close neighbors to evacuate for safety’s sake. Palm Beach Atlantic University properties Flagler Towers and Mango Promenade are not required to evacuate, said President Lu Hardin.
“As the safety of campus residents is the university’s top priority, campus officials will be briefing campus residents in their halls with details on when the implosion will take place and where residents should – and should not – observe the event,” said Hardin. He suggested that interested students watch the implosion from the south sides of the fourth and fifth levels of the Dixie Garage in Oceanview Hall, “for an excellent view from a safe distance.”
Hardin said the event gives the university a chance to be a good neighbor to the evacuated residents. Trinity LLC, the site developer, will provide those displaced condo residents with breakfast and a viewing area at PBA.
The 1515 tower has been deserted and a topic of debate since it was ravaged by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004.
The developer plans to build a 299-foot tall luxury condominium on the site. The debris from the implosion should be cleared and the area seeded by the end of May, Wilburn said.
By Eric Quinones
It looms over south campus, its windows and walls gaping open, its drywall removed and steel supports exposed.
A major project that should already have commenced, the final demolition of 1515 Flagler Dr. is now on hold. The huge condo, located just south of the Palm Beach Atlantic University campus, was supposed to have come down by Oct. 25. Now, the project could eventually end up being delayed until 2010.
It could also become the main focus of an episode of a television show on The Learning Channel.
The show, which carries a proposed title of “The Imploders,” is set to run as a six-part series and is the brainchild of demolition company Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc. Each episode will be an hour long and show different structures like 1515 Flagler coming down. Three of the six episodes have already been filmed. The show premieres on Dec. 17.
Will the City of West Palm Beach have a problem with this going on?
“I understand that The Learning Channel is in conversations with the developer and the demolition contractor about filming the implosion of the building for a television series,” said Peter Robbins, public information officer with the City of West Palm Beach. “The city is not a part of those negotiations. We will support whatever method of demolition the developer chooses and our only goal remains a safe demolition.”
However, the primary problem of insurance still remains, harrying progress of the demolition.
The 30-story eyesore located at 1515 South Flagler Dr. in West Palm Beach has been the topic of debate since it was ravaged by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004.
More recently, it has been in the spotlight after its stucco tested positive for asbestos in April. However, more comprehensive tests were performed by sampling 20 random points on the building’s exterior, and those tests returned negative.