Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Demolition and Destruction

 Welcome to day four of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Over a thousand bloggers are blogging daily throughout the month of April (except on Sundays), starting with A and devoting each consecutive day to another day of the alphabet.

Today, D stands for a building that has been in my life for almost the last thirty years.  During that time it was occupied by General Electric, Martin-Marietta, Lockheed-Martin and most recently, BAE Systems.


Since November of 2011, the lonely building has been awaiting its demolition, ruined in a flood (along with parts of my neighborhood) on September 8, 2011.  That November, it was determined the damage to it was too extensive.

February, 2016
Despite the destruction, beauty surrounded it in the winter.

May 7, 2015
Beauty surrounded it in the spring, too, when the Bradford Pears bloomed.
August 2013
The moon would set over more of those pear trees (see white spec between the two trees).
October, 2014 - A Small Part of the Complex

It was one of the largest wood framed structures in the United States when it was built in 1942 - over 600,000 square feet.
February 27, 2016
And now, it is finally being torn down.  The entire demolition and destruction will take several months.  After that, we don't know what will happen.
Foggy morning March 17, 2016 - this part was torn down later that day

This former defense plant has lain vacant since February 28, 2012, when the last of its employees left.  When the 2011 flood hit this building, along with much of my neighborhood (Westover) near Johnson City, New York, BAE helped with the recovery effort.  We owe a lot to their employees.  (You are welcome to read my posts from September/October 2011 to learn more.)

At the time of the flood, some 3800 people worked in this building.  In a couple of years, they may not have jobs at all.

There is something about seeing heavy equipment at work.  These in the February 27 picture are called "300 class excavators". The excavators reach into the structure to remove wood beams and columns.  In a controlled process, the building collapses.  Because there is a creek nearby, and because it is in a residential neighborhood in Westover, near Johnson City, the process must be carefully controlled.

I have taken so many pictures of this building since the flood.  I will miss it, in many ways, when it is completely gone.

But sometimes, we must destroy in order to renew.


 For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and the former BAE building, this is D-Day. 

18 comments:

  1. Hopefully they will put something that will have an equal legacy in its place.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. That's what we are hoping, Natasha, but no final decision has been made yet by the town.

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  2. Always sad when a factory is torn down. It means part of our economy is being lost.

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    1. Sadly, you are correct, although BAE Industries almost closed that plant several years before the 2011 flood.

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  3. I loved the last line of your post! So awesome, and so true! Sometimes things in our lives, or around us have to be destroyed before better things can come our way! Thank you, I needed to read this today!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I hope reading this did something good in your life.

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  4. I loved reading this post. Even though nature destroyed the building, it grew up around it again as if to say sorry (or am I just incredibly tired after a heavy day?). I hope the empty space is treated kindly once the building has gone. Thank you for showing us the pictures and bringing your post to life.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Nicola. Nature did indeed grow up around the building. Now, the town hasn't decided the final use of the land (once demolition is completed, sometime this fall). We'll have to hope it's a good ecological use.

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  5. It's sad to see it go, but if it was too damaged by the flooding, that's what they'd have to do. Hopefully it'll be replaced by something amazing.

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    1. I hope it is amazing (in a good way), Liz. The town, even after almost 5 years, doesn't quite know what to do with the property.

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  6. Sigh. I hope whatever the new plans for that area is wonderful. I get attached to things (even buildings too) that I know how funny it feels when they are gone. Glad you got some nice pictures before it was torn down!

    (Also, I'm doing the a-z challenge too!)

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    1. It isn't all torn down - probably won't be for several months. But these were the closest parts to the sidewalk. It's a huge building.

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  7. Wow. Sad to see. I understand how you feel about it being torn down. I guess not all buildings can be re-used or fixed up.

    @dSavannahCreate from
    dSavannahRambles
    #AtoZChallenge2016 theme: dSavannah Defects

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    1. I wish it could have been. After the flood, a restoration company worked on the building for about two months before the effort was given up. I, peronally, think the area would have made a wonderful year round farmers market. But it was not to be.

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  8. I loved the phrase " we must destroy in order to renew..... " and loved all your clicks too !!!

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    1. Getting this torn down is quite a challenge. I hope they do something useful with the property.

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  9. This is really sad! At least your post paid a tribute to it.

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  10. Even nature knows this; natural forest fires (not the man-made kind) are an important part of a healthy forest. They clear out the dead and diseased, and allow new growth to get sun and rain. I do hope that something good is built here, something that brings in jobs and benefits the community.

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