Casino demolition underway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Casino demolition underway

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August 25, 2003

 Radium Springs-- City salvage crews began taking apart the Casino Monday morning, working toward a completion date of December First.

Now the salvage crews have five weeks to save what they can from the old building.

Piece by piece the Radium Springs Casino is coming down. County prisoners are doing the work, under the direction of a contractor the city hired.

The cypress wood crown moulding is the first to be pulled down. The salvage work has to be done in five weeks, and then the demolition of the building begins in early October. So it's a race to salvage as much as possible.

Engineering Projects Manager Wes Smith said "There are a lot of materials we'd like to save. We have a very defined plan. In the course of action, with any luck, we'll finish."

The city hopes to save the paneling, the doors and front windows, the entrance balcony, and the wood columns and capitols. The front and entrance doors they know are original to the Casino when it was built in 1926, along with some of the front windows. They were not destroyed in the 1982 fire, and were put in the building when it was rebuilt. But they will not know exactly which ones are original, until they are removed.

Smith said "The original items are things most important for us to save. The columns we know are original, the door is, this porch probably is not, but because of the look of it, replicating it, we probably want to take it down."

Members of the Radium Springs Casino Preservation Group say they knew this day was coming, despite their best efforts. Lamar Clifton said "Everything that could be done , I think, has been done, to try and save the Casino. Now we'll have to glory in the rest of it."

The salvaged materials will be stored, until the city decides what to do with them. The county will own the four acres of land where the Radium Springs Casino now stands.

The State owns the springs and the 80 acres of land to the Flint River.

posted at 5:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com