No, wait! It’s fire in the hole!
Governors Island’s tallest building will be imploded live on the internet early on June 9, potentially startling Brooklynites who haven’t read this article, or heard about the plan elsewhere.
The vacant 11-story Cunningham Apartments on the island’s shore that faces Manhattan will come down at about 7:36 am when 200 pounds of dynamite will be ignited, bringing the structure to the ground in about 30 seconds.
The vacant building, which housed Coast Guard members and their families between 1968 and 1996 in 165 duplex apartments, will be the first structure to be demolished by implosion in the city since 2001. In July of that year, two Brooklyn Union Gas holding tanks in Greenpoint that looked like giant advertisements for Purina Dog Chow were blasted out of existence.
That explosion made some noise, but officials on Governors Island say Sunday’s boomfest will barely wake the heavily populated areas on the other side of the Island’s protective moat, including Red Hook, which is just 400 yards away from the island.
“The implosion will not create any vibrations or loud noises,” said Elizabeth Rapuano, of Trust for Governors Island. “Red Hook should not be affected.”
Rapuano added that the building itself will make a noise when it falls, but it shouldn’t be heard off the island.
The structure, known to Governors Islanders as “Building 877,” will make way for a new 30-acre park. Why the building is called “Building 877” is unknown, but even a cursory view of the island using Google maps reveals way fewer than 800 buildings, so structures there were clearly not simply given a number when they went up.
The island, which is only accessible by ferry and was known to early settlers for its plentiful hickory, oak, and chestnut trees (hence the terrible lead to begin this article), will be closed during the implosion, but the demolition will be visible at multiple locations, including Battery Park in Manhattan and aboard the Staten Island Ferry, which floats past the island on its way to the Rock.
Brooklynites who want to spare themselves the indignity of going to Manhattan — or, worse, Staten Island — but really want to see the action, can do so live in the comfort of their own home online at govislandblog.com.