It took only about 10 seconds for an old Sandy Springs office tower to collapse in a March 31 demolition. But a member of Davis Development, the company turning the site into apartments and shops, had the good timing to grab a grainy cellphone video of the moment.

Andrew Francia, the demolition chief who brought down the 6075-6077 Roswell Road tower, stopped by the Reporter Newspapers office next door on April 14 to share the video and pick up a few of the newspaper’s shots.

Andrew Francia, project manager for demolition at Southern Environmental Services. (John Ruch)

Francia works for Marietta-based Southern Environmental Services, which spent months on asbestos abatement and gutting the tower’s interior before the demolition. He’s been knocking things down for a living for more than 25 years, starting with an old Orlando hotel.

While some people thought the Sandy Springs tower was imploded, Francia said, it actually simply collapsed under its own weight after he chipped through a concrete column with a hydraulic hammer. Also helping the 1960s-era tower’s collapse, he said, was construction work that wouldn’t fly today, such as concrete that was “waffled” with air bubbles. Even a bank vault—the building formerly housed a Bank of America branch—was relatively easy to smash apart, said Francia, who has busted through more than a few in his time.

Once the debris is cleaned up—part of it will be recycled for on-site use—Davis will begin construction on the mixed-use complex it’s calling The Adley at City Springs.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.