Demolition of Old Courthouse Clears Way For New Civic Center

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City officials recently celebrated the demolition of the old courthouse, located at 415 W. Ocean Boulevard. The internal abatement of the building has been completed, and the largest “ultra high reach excavator” in the country has begun chopping away at the structure. It will take approximately two and one-half months for the steel structure to be completely removed.

“This building will be demolished through a powerful combination of technology, efficiency and sustainability, to make way for a new Civic Center development,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

The Civic Center project is expected to be completed by June 2019, and includes a new Main Library, Lincoln Park, City Hall, Port Headquarters, and new housing, and retail uses.

“As we demolish this structure, I’m proud that more than 90 percent of the materials will be recycled, and nearly 50 percent of workers will be local hires,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.

The old courthouse opened in 1958, but recently was considered by the state to be one of the worst courthouses in California in terms of security, overcrowding and physical condition. The building closed as the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse opened nearby in September 2013.

Work on the old courthouse began approximately three months ago with hazardous materials abatement.

“We’re looking forward to Downtown being transformed and revitalized with a new energy and vitality,” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez.

The high reach excavator boasts a 182-foot boom mounted onto a 500,000-pound excavator. The tool used to cut the building is a 15-foot-long, 15,000-pound shear. It took nine loads to mobilize the machine, and five days for a four-person crew to assemble it.

All appropriate steps will be taken to minimize impact on the public. The demolition process can be viewed at www.LBCivicCenter.com.

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