MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The old South Shore Hospital building is no more.
A construction crew imploded the abandoned hospital at 600 Alton Road shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday to make way for a high-rise condominium building.
In nine seconds, the shell of South Shore Hospital, which had stood for 50 years, succomed to strategically-placed dynamite and was reduced to rubble.
"Our initial assessment of the implosion is, yes, everything went as planned, safely, which is the best we could ask for," Miami Beach police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez told Local 10 News.
A 10 a.m. implosion was delayed a few minutes as police cleared onlookers from the deck of a parking garage across Alton Road.
Benny Lex, who lives in a building next to the old hospital, said he was caught offguard and didn't hear any of the warning sirens.
"We didn't hear the countdown, actually," he said.
Sergio Echeverria, who also lives nearby, was concerned about the large cloud of dust that permeated the air.
"People in this area, some of them are older," he said. "So they have air issues or respiratory issues."
The defunct hospital was a financial victim of South Beach's evolution from old-age mecca to iconic party city.
A long-fought process to remove the building was accelerated after the development company agreed to implode it in exchange for a zoning change that will allow for a 44-floor condo building, with retail space and a public park.
Traffic along Alton Road was back to normal by noon.