April 26, 1997: The Beaumont's final seconds of life, and
Beaumont Medical Building
On the morning of April 26, 1997, 400 pounds of dynamite
went off in carefully orchestrated sequence, and the Beaumont collapsed into rubble.
I have witnessed five building implosions, and this is the only one where
I felt my heart wrench as the building went down. Watching the buff-colored bricks spill like a liquid from the cornice, then seeing the rest fall straight down into the rising dust cloud, was akin to seeing a piece of fine art burned.
Once the dust had cleared, the rubble was a sorry site indeed. The cornice looked as if it
had done a face-plant into the street. Surviving bits of trim poked from the rubble, as if trying to remind witnesses of what had just been lost.
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