I took this picture shortly after noon today.
About an hour later, John Peterson posted this picture on Facebook.
A building that undoubtedly took a year to construct and stood for 110 years was bashed to pieces in an hour's time.
The building demolished was most recently used as the administration building for the Firemen's Home. It was constructed in 1906 as an addition to the original Firemen's Home, a building designed by Michael O'Connor which was built in 1893 and demolished in 1965. This post card image shows that building, which faced the Hudson River, and the building just demolished right beside it.
The post card image below shows the Firemen's Home as it was in 1935 and as it appeared, more or less unchanged, until the beginning of this century.
The top of the tower on the original building can still be seen over the roof of of the newer 1916 building. The building that was just demolished appears at the left.
There is still no word from the code enforcement officer about why the building had to be demolished. In an interesting bit of related information, a book about the Firemen's Home, published I believe for its centennial in 1993, noted that $1.4 million had been allocated to tear down the original building "which had become a fire hazard due to its wood construction." According to a contemporary description and photographic evidence, it was a building "of brick with granite trimmings, standing on a granite foundation."
Of course, by "wood construction" they probably meant wooden beams, wooden joists, wooden floors, wooden wall framing, wooden doors, wooden door and window frames, and decorative woodwork.
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