Standing just half a mile from our home in West Palm Beach Florida, 1515 S. Flagler Drive has stood vacant and hurricane ravaged since 2004. A silent companion to my daily walks along the intracoastal waterway with my two dogs, the building, long an eyesore to residents, was strangely a comforting sight to me amongst all the perfection and money that makes up this little slice of South Florida.
Years of wrangling between developers, the city and nearby residents finally culminated in a spectacular building implosion on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2010.
The third largest building implosion in the U.S. went flawlessly with none of the nearby buildings sustaining any major damage. Chalk another successful blast up for The Kelly family of Advanced Explosives Demolitions of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. I read in an earlier article that the family planned to have their five year old daughter push the button.
Most spectators were jubilant about the building going down but one viewer who was crying told my sister-in-law that it reminded her of 911.
Over the last few months I’ve read great stories of people who grew up in the building and they’ve expressed fond memories about their former home, memories of family, relatives who have passed on, and happy holidays spent in the building. The permanence of physical things in comparison to our own flesh and blood has always been a fascination for me. Perhaps that’s why this building’s death was so compelling to me. I’ve shot lots of video of the building from all different angles and taken many pictures as well. The building has always been a subject for me even before it was set to be taken down.
I was always hopeful they would restore the building as it had a great South Florida style that’s unlikely to be rivaled by the modern building that will replace it soon.
So long 1515 South.