What would you do with a slew of heavy machinery, an empty 250,000-square-foot hospital and the law of gravity on your side? If you were the City of Durango, you would bring that building to the ground. Over the past several months, demolition of the old Mercy Medical Center has been in progress in order to clear the lot for construction of the new public library. The rubble-filled lot sits on half a dozen acres at the end of East Park Avenue; in limbo between the old and new, after more than six decades of service to Southwestern Colorado. Without the use of expolosives, this building was brought down with an artistic touch that only a Hitachi excavator can deliver. Behold, the art of careful destruction.

The Care Flight copter rests atop the southeastern corner of the
Mercy Medical Center just months before it was reduced to
rubble. Amidst the final weeks of this project, debris is sorted through
and the area is prepped for rebuilding. For this company, much more
work is in store including the demolition of the Stardust in Las
Vegas. These giant excavators are the workhorses of demolition jobs.
Here they loom above tons of concrete and steel that were once a
hospital. This excavator acts as a giant jackhammer, punching holes into
the structure while gravity usually takes care of the rest. An open window lets a fresh breeze blow through moments before
this western portion fell to the ground. Jim Cherry, who operates an excavator, and his dog Sadie watch
as a base layer is spread across the nearly vacant lot. This will
allow new structures to be erected on solid earth.