Demolition of the RCA Tower


These photos were taken by Vivian Makin on Monday, November 15, 1999. Unfortunately, Jamie had to work that day and was unable to attend, but Vivian did a terrific job of filming the conventional demolition job by herself. We would like to thank Jimmy and Dominick Mazza of Mazza and Sons Demolition for allowing us to visit the job site, and for allowing Vivian to photograph the demolition of the main building.


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The RCA building as it appreared in its final moments. The 172 foot tall crane which will destroy it is reflected in the middle column of windows. The demolition of the main building in the complex started around 7:30 am. The first corner of the building came down so fast, that it caught Vivian off guard before she had time to set up the camera. This photo was taken just afterwards. The second corner of the building comes down just as fast. A few hits at the base of the corner column with a 4 1/2 ton wrecking ball is all it takes to cause large sections of the building to collapse.

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The wrecking ball takes down the east side of the building. A few more blows take down the remainder of the side wall. BONUS!! Without any extra help from the wrecking ball, another column and the remainder of the corner fall immediately after the previous section.

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Around 8:00 am, work progresses to the opposite corner of the building. These panels appear to float free of the building before crashing to the ground. The west wall is attacked next. Although not very visible, the southwest corner falls just like the ones before it.

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By 10:30 am, about 3 hours from the start of the demolition, the final exterior portion of walls fall down. Continual pounding from the wrecking ball has exposed a stair tower in the center portion of the building. This center, which contains stairs and elevators, is built much stronger than the rest of the building, and will take a lot more effort to take down. By the end of the day, this is all that remained of the RCA building. It is still standing now, and will be taken down after the debris around it is cleared.

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Created: November 22, 1999