Kinkead Building Demolition

12 years ago the Kinkead State office building in Carson City was vacated and condemned. I went over the whole sad history of that building in my Ghosts of Carson article from last September, Ghosts of Carson: Kinkead Building. I finished that article by saying that the funds had finally been allocated to tear down the building, after over a decade of neglect, and that demolition would begin in late 2017.

Well they started the demolition right on schedule. In October 2017 the fences went up and the Grim Reaper showed up to give last rites.

Heavy equipment rolled in and started to dismantle the building, piece by piece. The first thing they did was remove the window panels from the frame of the building. These wall panels seemed to be made of aluminum and popped right out with just a little force from the excavator.

For the main demolition they started from the ground floor and worked up. On each floor they removed all the wall panels and then cleared out the interior of the building. Leaving behind just a skeleton of the building’s frame.

Metal support poles were also added so that the ceiling wouldn’t collapse from the weight of the work being done on the floors above. This is always a good safety precaution, but in a building with the engineering problems that Kinkead had it might have been essential.

By the middle of November work had progressed halfway up the building. All of the interior walls, plumbing and wiring was loaded into dumpsters and hauled away, leaving behind only a concrete shell.

The bottom-up work gave the building a very top-heavy appearance at this stage.

Finally by late November all the floors had been cleared out. The Kinkead Building stood as an empty skeleton against the Carson City skyline.

Around this time they brought in the big guns. This is half of the large excavator that they used to crush the concrete frame into rubble. It had to be this big in order to reach all the way to the top floor from the ground.

The other half of the excavator was delivered separately, and the two halves had to be joined together on site.

By December the giant crusher had gotten to work. The floors were destroyed from the outside in, with the central core left for last. This video from Carson Now shows early work on this stage of demolition.

The concrete was pulverized and large pile of rubble accumulated around the building.

This video from Joe Reinbolt shows the crusher at work closeup.

This stage of demolition went pretty quickly. They were able to destroy a large percentage of the building each day.

They kept this up until finally all that remained of the building was the central core. A little bit of weakening of the main supports, and the core finally toppled over. This video from Carson Now shows the moment of that last collapse.

All that remained at this point was a jumbled mess of steel and concrete, with a few of the first floor supports still standing. The rest of the month of December was spent clearing all of this away.

By New Year’s 2018 the site of the Kinkead Building had been pretty well cleared out. A little concrete rubble still remained on site, and some materials that had been separated for recycling.

The actual site of the building was just a muddy mess, with a couple of trees and some chunks of turf all that remained of the landscaping.

Some cleanup still remains, and then the plan for the summer of 2018 is to convert this plot of land to a grassy park. And that’s how the land will remain for the foreseeable future, until the State is able to find the budget to build a new office building here, which is in their long term plans.

And so closes the long saga of the Kinkead Building. The most hated office building in the state of Nevada is now gone, and the Carson City skyline is changed forever.

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