View Full Version : The Demise of a Naked Vault (picture heavy)

07-05-2014, 03:56 AM
There used to be a credit union across the street. Most of the building was torn down, but the vault was still standing. They finally got it torn down a couple of weeks ago. Over a period of 3 days, we watched a backhoe operator think he could just drop a big concrete pillar on the roof and start breaking it down (he kept having to chase it down. 2 credit unions across the street from him, and he didn't think to ask if he could see our vaults), kinda work on other stuff while waiting for something that could do the job, and once he got an attachment (seemed to work like a combo jack hammer/concrete saw) it went down really fast. The weather was doing a "don't like it, wait 5 minutes" all 3 days.

Oh, and I drove over on my way out of work for just a few more shots. My battery absolutely packed it in, the car alarm went off, which meant a jump start wouldn't work, the fob was at home, so Mike had to bring it, and the roadside assistance couldn't find me because I was behind the construction and not visible from the street. I got home late.

The vault. The pillar in question is just in front of it and to the side.

and its sidekick, the night deposit. I have no idea why they just left it sitting there after tearing down the building weeks before.

The part number is still visible.

And the door had a way cooler handle than ours does.

07-05-2014, 04:02 AM
He kinda got things broke up a little - just enough to pick at the rebar.

But you can see how far he got with his initial technique. (not very)

So he kinda picked at other tasks. This is actually only part of the construction going on at this site.

07-05-2014, 04:08 AM
Cool story and shots!!!

Is the door still there? I would have grabbed it and brought it home (for some unknown reason).

07-05-2014, 04:08 AM
Once they had the proper equipment, it went fast. A chunk was done by the time I got to work. I ran out every hour or so, shooting across the street, because I wasn't sure there would be anything there by lunch time. They started in on the vault door, and that was hauled away by lunch. You can see how thick the door is. The walls were thicker. I'm guessing they used a tig welder to cut the door loose. The clamp looks like it's for grounding and that's definitely a welding mask the worker is wearing.





07-05-2014, 04:10 AM
Cool story and shots!!!

Is the door still there? I would have grabbed it and brought it home (for some unknown reason).

No, it was gone by lunch. The reason they hadn't removed it before is because the sucker's nearly 3 feet thick and solid steel. You need heavy equipment to move it!

07-05-2014, 04:16 AM

Once most of the breakup was done, the backhoe went looking for its bucket (yes, it did. They have personalities.)



It needed a little help from its friend to get everything reattached.

07-05-2014, 04:19 AM

This was pretty much the state of things by the time lunch was over.


And the backhoe went right to work, slinging rebar.

07-05-2014, 04:22 AM

At the end of the day, you had one very tuckered out backhoe.

(Hey, I was waiting for the road service. Figured I might as well pull the camera out again)

07-13-2014, 06:59 PM
Wow, what a tangled web of rebar. Cool story/pictorial.

07-18-2014, 01:04 PM
Nicely documented Q1. As HBG said "what a tangled web of rebar"

07-19-2014, 02:04 AM
Wow! Cool story! That was a lot of rebar for sure!

08-02-2014, 12:19 AM
Yep, there sure was a lot of rebar. The company doing the teardown (and the construction for what's replacing it) recycles absolutely everything, including the concrete. Right now they're putting in driveways and turn lane seperators, in spots that make sense. The traffic along there has always had problems with turns into businesses and side streets. They're developping the center median and even putting in lights on the median. The construction is an absolute pain in the rear right now, but when they get it finished it'll be a huge improvement. The site's owner and the tenants really put some thought into this, and are working on being good neighbors.

08-03-2014, 06:55 PM
Wow, what a tangled web of rebar. Cool story/pictorial.

That was exactly my thought! :) That was very cool.... I had no idea.

08-10-2014, 10:41 PM
Thanks, Iggy. Yeah, vaults are pretty seriously built. Add some mechanical timers (tiny gears, Swiss or German make) that ensures that even if you know the combination, you can't open the door before at least one of them runs out, and you understand why banks are robbed during business hours.