Double Downtown Demolition-Part I

Remember when these three buildings in downtown Victoria stood side by side, facing Rose Street?† The Kirsch Building (far right) went down in September 2010.† The two on the left disappeared in July 2015.

This is the space between the two city buildings on the left.† They were constructed not to touch each other, but they came to be intimately connected.

It was 7:39 a.m. on Thursday morning, July 9th, 2015, when a group of city office staff, public works people, and councilmembers gathered inside for a final walk-through of the old haunts.

City Manager Laurie Hokkanen peered inside cabinets as to what was being left behind.† Nothing of value.

THE LAST GROUP of people to walk through the old Victoria Hall included all of the above, on Thursday, July 9th, only moments before demolition.

†††††††††††††††† Front, l-r (Victoria Public Works employees):† Jeff Borg, Trevor Latzke, Andrew Yarger, Jack Biebighauser, Allen Zellman, Mat Von Bank.† Middle: Randy Miller (President/Victoria Business Association), Laurie Hokkanen (Victoria City Manager), Jessica Van Voorhis (Victoria Public Works/Planning Assistant), Madison Fox-Christensen (Victoria Administration Intern), Holly Kaufhold (Victoria Park and Recreation Supervisor), Jennie Kretch (Victoria City Clerk), Lani Basa (Victoria City Councilmember), Gina Bresnahan (Victoria Finance Assistant/Permit Technician).† Back:† Mayor Tom O'Connor (City of Victoria), Jason Clark (Victoria Public Works), Ann Mahnke (Victoria Director of Parks and Public Works), Brady Lee (Victoria Public Works), Laura O'Neill (Victoria Lions Club and Cornerstone Insurance Agency), Tom Gray (Victoria Building Official), Kelly Grinnell (Victoria Finance Manager), Chuck Almjheld (Victoria Public Works Superintendent).† Also present for the walkthrough but not pictured: Corey Scharpe and Randy Brandt (Victoria Public Works)

This was a functioning kitchen in May 2015.

There were ceremonial whacks with a sledgehammer into the western wall of the peak-roofed Village Hall.† Nobody was wailing.† This is Deputy Public Works Director Chuck Almjheld.

Mayor Tom OíConnor commented on some of the good things that transpired in the Hall over the years.

Councilmember Lani Basa also left a mark.

So did Finance Manager Kelly Grinnell.† Today was a long time coming, especially for those who worked within the crowded City Offices, replete with occasional petroleum fumes.

City Clerk Jennie Kretsch and Building Official Tom Gray take their turns in the former Council Chambers where poor acoustics were a problem during city council meetings.

City Manager Laurie Hokkanen struck the final blow before everyone went outside to witness what would be much more than ceremonial.

A resplendent array of radiant waves emanated from the vacant building(s) just prior to demolition.† It was an amazing phenomenon that continued, to a lesser and lesser degree, until the entire curved roof was off the former City Offices building.

Before the excavator , maneuvered by Chuck Buckentine of Wickenhauser Excavating, began chewing on the curved roof, it cleaned out the† kitchen, closets, and bathroom area of the conjoined buildings.

A few folks watched some of the initial demolition work.† Thatís Terry Hartman and Mayor Tom OíConnor in the foreground.