Updated: 08/15/2014 11:37 PM
Created: 08/15/2014 4:41 PM WNYT.com
By: WNYT Staff
ALBANY - In its heyday, the Wellington Hotel boasted more than 400 guest rooms in the shadow of the State Capitol. Former Governor Mario Cuomo moved in when he was a law clerk. His successor, George Pataki, lived there when he was an assemblyman.
The historic facade on State Street will remain, but the 11-story Annex Building, and the adjacent parking garage, both long time eye sores, will be imploded with dynamite this coming Thursday.
"It's like an earthquake," said Sal Tarzia, owner of Amo La Bella Restaurant, directly next door to the demolition site. "It could damage a lot of houses. It could damage everything."
Tarzia says he's already planning to shut down for the day.
"I was supposed to have a party for lunch for some women," he says, "I had to cancel."
On South Pearl Street, two blocks away, Raquel Moody who owns the WhipMyHair Salon, says she's already anticipating inconveniences for herself and her clients.
"They already have a problem with parking so I feel like that would be a problem with them imploding the building," Moody says, "Where are they going to park? It's already a hassle as it is. I feel like that's going to impact it even more."
With the Annex Building out of the way, Columbia Development will be able to build a $66 million convention center on the site. The well-regarded Controlled Demolition Inc of Maryland has been hired for the demolition, the same company that imploded the Seattle Kingdome back in 2000, and also the J.L. Hudson Department STore in Detroit.
On the south side of the Annex is the parking garage and the pedestrian walkway connecting it to the Times Union Center. In advance of next week's demolition, crews were busy on Friday hanging protective tarps on the glass walkway to shield it from the blast and falling debris.
"Our priority for this project is to demolish the building expeditiously, safely and with minimal disruption to the city and this plan accomplishes those goals," said Joseph Nicolla, President of Columbia Development Companies, sent out in a written statement on Friday.
During the implosion, the following parking restrictions and road closures will be in place:
Courtesy: Albany Police Department:
August 21, 2014 12:01AM - approximately 1PM
State Street, both sides from S. Swan Street to Eagle Street
State Street, both sides from Eagle Street to Lodge Street
State Street, north side from N. Pearl Street to Lodge Street
Park Street, both sides from Lancaster Street to State Street
Eagle Street, both sides from Lancaster Street to State Street
Howard Street, both sides from N. Pearl Street to Eagle Street
S. Pearl Street, both sides from State Street to Hudson Avenue
Market Street, both sides from S. Pearl Street to Eagle Street
Lodge Street, both sides from Beaver Street to State Street
Wendell Street, both sides from Howard Street to Beaver Street
August 21, 2014 7AM - approximately 1PM
The following roadways will be closed to all vehicular traffic:
Howard Street between Lodge Street and Eagle Street
Lodge Street between Beaver Street and State Street
Wendell Street between Beaver Street and Howard Street
August 21, 2014 9:30AM - approximately 1PM
Eagle Street between Madison Avenue and Pine Street
State Street between Eagle Street and Pearl Street
State Street between S. Swan Street and Eagle Street
Park Street between Lancaster Street and State Street
Lodge Street between Pine Street and State Street
Norton Street between Green Street and S. Pearl Street
Beaver Street between Wendell Street and Green Street
Hudson Avenue between Green Street and S. Pearl Street
Howard Street between Lodge Street and S. Pearl Street
Market Street between S. Pearl Street and Eagle Street
Grand Street between Phillip Street and Market Street
Additional Information and Advisory:
All pedestrian traffic within the road closures listed above will be prohibited at all of the closure points at 9:30AM until approximately 1PM.
It is recommended that motorists seek alternate routes around the above listed road closures to avoid delays.