Fort Lauderdale holds ceremonial demolition at city hall

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The City of Fort Lauderdale held a ceremonial demolition of the old City Hall this week.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Dean Trantalis expressed gratitude to FEMA and the State of Florida for support in the city’s reconstruction efforts following a devastating flood in April 2023 that rendered the old building uninhabitable and prompted its demolition.A time capsule placed by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida placed in the foundation of the old City Hall in 1968 was opened at the ceremony.

Brittany Perkins Castillo, CEO of AshBritt, provided insights into the meticulous deconstruction process, highlighting the city’s commitment to environmental sustainability and community engagement throughout the project. The demolition is expected to take 15 to 18 weeks and will be conducted floor by floor, taking noise, dust and environmental considerations into account.

As a result of the historic 1,000-year flood the city experienced in April 2023, the existing City Hall building was significantly damaged and needs replacement. The building, originally built in 1969, served as a central point for city business and engagement with public officials.

However, the facility has been unable to evolve to meet the needed functions of a collaborative community and innovative staff. Additionally, due to the growth of the city and the staff serving it, the building was insufficient in size to house staff in a singular location.

Neighbors were consulted to establish a set of principles to guide the design and construction of a “reimagined” city hall. The effort is led by the city’s Infrastructure Task Force in partnership with Dickey Consulting Services and the American Institute of Architects’ student chapter at Florida Atlantic University.

Input will be collected through a series of five workshops, each reviewing a different element of the project, including spacing allocation, amenities and financing and procurement options.

In addition to these in-person workshops, input will also be collected virtually through surveys.

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