Video: Amazing time-lapse record of St. Anthony Hospital demolition

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Video below.
This week's cover story, "High-Rise Anxiety," looks into the uproar over redevelopment of the old St. Anthony Hospital site -- which is being welcomed by some residents as a long-awaited economic revival of the West Colfax business district, while others are concerned about the impact of the project on the Sloan's Lake neighborhood. But whatever side of the issue you're on, there's no denying that taking down the 130-year-old hospital complex -- nearly a million square feet of various structures, from various eras -- was one hell of a demolition job.

A recent article in the trade journal Construction & Demolition Recycling gives some idea of the challenges faced by the developer, EnviroFinance Group, as well as the site's demolition firm, Fiore & Sons, and abatement contractor, Hudspeth & Associates -- everything from ancient asbestos to tunnels that weren't on any plans to dust control.

EFG made a commitment to recycle many of the materials found on the site, thereby saving thousands of truckloads of rubble that would otherwise be dispatched to landfills. Fiore ended up pulverizing an estimated 30,500 tons of concrete onsite -- available as fill and infrastructure for the coming construction of apartments, retail and offices -- as well as salvaging tons of metal, asphalt, and stone now piled on the leveled site.

A camera mounted on a rooftop just off-site also took some revealing time-lapse video over a period of months, documenting the steady progress of trackhoe excavators as they nibbled away at the hospital wings like insects devouring a foe. A short version of the demo, which shows a great deal of hosing down the site for dust suppression, can be found on the development website; but the five-minute version below has its advantages, including some well-lit nighttime scenes.

The project actually required a dozen phases of abatement and demolition because of the many layers of add-on construction as the hospital evolved over the years. But armchair demo junkies can now track months of labor in a few minutes. Check it out.

St. Anthony's Demolition 1_10_2014 from Conrad Olivier on Vimeo.

More from our Follow That Story archive circa July 2013: "Photos: Five demolished Colorado urban exploration sites."


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38 comments
Ellen Jones
Ellen Jones

Lori Turner and Ann Biamonte kind of in your neighborhood.

Radiant Sun
Radiant Sun

Went there after getting a cancer diagnosis. Creepy place. Glad to see that outdated, depressing place gone.

Donaven
Donaven

I was born there I got stitches there and now there is on hospital in the West Side a sad day hommies.

Donna Travis
Donna Travis

Bill Snyder - thanks for sharing this with me. Quite amazing to watch. And neat to see the old neighborhood from this view. Many fond memories of running around and around and around Sloan's Lake...

Bill Snyder
Bill Snyder

Donna Travis- Across the lake from your old neighborhood.

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

let me guess they're tearing it down to build a walmart

Maricela Driggers
Maricela Driggers

So many childhood memories in this neighborhood. It's changed so much, I'm excited to see what it looks like in a few years.

John Jones
John Jones

I was in the I.C.U. there in 2010 when I was ran down my Harley Davidson 2 blocks from there, they saved my life! if you see a vehicle coming with Metro appliance service on the side of it get the hell out of the way they can'nt drive! If you ride a motorcycle please don't buy from these people!

Val Justin G
Val Justin G

It's St Anthony's Central, St Anthony's North is off federal & 84th. You can tell because of Sloans lake in the background

Bobbie Hamblet
Bobbie Hamblet

Back in 1958, I worked in that hospital as kitchen help on the maternity ward . I had great admiration for the Sisters who were in charge. It was right across from Sloans Lake.

Monica Mendoza
Monica Mendoza

Kinda sad... Both of my daughters were born there

Frankie Lopez
Frankie Lopez

That's where I came into the world..kicking and screaming. ..

Kindra Joy
Kindra Joy

Zoey Supertramp oh that beautiful building

Ed Duncan
Ed Duncan

I'm guessing that's st. Anthony north. The one off west colfax is probably long gone.

Ed Duncan
Ed Duncan

Jesus! To think of all the money john Evans and his wife spent in that rehab unit just breaks your heart to see it go that way.

Ralph Carmichael
Ralph Carmichael

I was born there too, more than 50 years ago. I am glad to hear I'm not the only one who was born there that is sad it is gone.

Selko Apollo
Selko Apollo

That's a beautiful video!! The definition of the change happening everywhere in the metro Denver area! So cool!

Angie Leader-Alford
Angie Leader-Alford

My Grandpa, Dad, & both of my brothers, were born in that hospital. Sad its gone. ):

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