Demolition has begun on Building 844!
The seven story building is the first of four high rise buildings which will be demolished over the next several months as a part of Governors Island’s major capital program that is improving Island infrastructure and building 30 new acres of park and public spaces.
The building is demolished with a long reach excavator that “munches” the building with a special claw attachment. In order to reach the highest point of the building, the excavator climbs “rubble ramps” which are created by large chunks of concrete from roadways removed to make way for the park. The concrete and brick from the demolished building, as well as the ramp material itself, will be stockpiled and used as fill for future phases of park construction.
Building 844 is located on the Island’s western shore on the southern half of Governors Island. This area is the site of the new park and future development. In May, Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officials broke ground on Phase 1 of the Island’s Park and Public Space Master Plan, which has been designed by acclaimed landscape architecture firm West 8. Phase 1 focuses on creating 30 new acres of park on the Island’s southern half and adding key visitor amenities throughout the Island’s Historic District.
Building 844 is one of three “dog bone” buildings on the Island’s western shore. The 80,000 square foot building is 70 feet high and was built in 1957 to house military personnel and their families. The buildings’ nickname comes from their unique dog-bone like shape. In 2008, Building 844 was used by the New York City Fire Department to test high-rise firefighting apparatus and it was also previously used for scenes in the movie American Gangster.
While Building 844 is being demolished, abatement and demolition of the remaining three non-historic high-rise buildings on the Island’s western shore will begin. Demolition is scheduled to be complete by late next spring.