Radium Springs Casino is gone - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Radium Springs Casino is gone

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October 28, 2003

Albany-- The stately landmark was reduced to rubble by demolition crews.

It's a sad sight, especially for those of us who have fond childhood memories of Radium Casino. The memories of weddings, parties, and celebrations held at the Radium Springs Casino will linger, but the structure is now rubble.

The three man demolition crew started work around 9:00AM, and in less than two hours, most of the Radium Springs Casino was flattened.

County Administrator Richard Crowdis and his staff made one final sweep inside the Casino, before the demolition started in a driving rainstorm.

Development Services Manager Tracy Hester said "It sort of fits the mood of the community and the people who love this building, I think."

The Casino was built in 1925, beside one of the great natural wonders of Georgia, Radium Springs. It was one of the hot spots for Albany's social life for decades.

Jesse Greathouse of Dove Management, the demolition company said "This is going good. It's coming down like toothpicks. Crushing up."

The casino withstood it all, fire and flood. The building burned in 1982, but was rebuilt, only to be flooded in 1994 and 1998. The building, owned at the time by Gayle Manley was sold to FEMA as part of the flood buyout program and that meant it had to come down.

When the demolition crew started this morning, someone called the Police to try and stop the work.

Greathouse said "Somebody called the law on us. Said we were loitering, standing around. Stopped right over there. We said we were working. They laughed and went on about their business."

Scores of people tried to save the Casino building. But as it was knocked down in pouring rain, there were very few people there to witness it's final moments. An historic landmark structure, now a pile of rubble headed for the landfill.

Parts of the Casino like the inside paneling, windows, and doors were salvaged before the building was torn down. They will be used in the new RiverCenter Hotel.

posted at 2:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com