VOL. 124 | NO. 29 | Thursday, February 12, 2009
Old BellSouth Building to be Demolished
By Tom Wilemon
DEMOLITION DERBY: Workers from Earth Movers Land Development & Demolition Contracts have been preparing this week to bring down the old BellSouth building at 1544 Madison Ave., which has been vacant for several years. -- PHOTO BY TOM WILEMON
The multistory building at 1544 Madison Ave. in Midtown once occupied by BellSouth is being demolished by city order.
Heavy equipment operators have begun the prep work for the final demolition scheduled for Friday morning, said Angelo Jones, the owner of Earth Movers Land Development & Demolition Contractors. No explosives will be used.
“The way I’m going to do it is cut the legs out from underneath it and let it come on down to the ground,” he said.
Madison Avenue will be closed briefly until “the dust settles,” he said.
With 31 years’ experience, Jones said he has supervised the demolition of larger buildings.
The Memphis Division of Community Enhancement’s Department of Code Enforcement issued an order of condemnation in November for the building after a hearing was held on whether the property is “a dangerous structure as defined by the city of Memphis Residential Anti-Neglect Ordinance.”
Three Madison Investments of Memphis owns the property, according to the order. Three Madison acquired it in October 2007 from Monumental Life Insurance Co., according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.
The site is across from the $5 million Minglewood Plaza retail development, which is an extensive renovation of the former Strings & Things building at 1553 Madison Ave. Concerts begin this month at the plaza’s entertainment venue, Minglewood Hall, including a Feb. 21 performance by Saliva and a Feb. 24 performance by Lucinda Williams.