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Smokestack At Former Kings Park Psychiatric Center Demolished

KINGS PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- An iconic structure at the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center has been brought down.

Demolition experts used 27 sticks of dynamite strategically placed at the base of the 220-foot brick smokestack to take down the decades-old structure, WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs reported.

The ground shook and some onlookers screamed as the smokestack went down.

Smokestack At Former Kings Park Psychiatric Center Demolished

Many residents who grew up in the shadow of the smokestack said it's like saying goodbye to an old friend.

WARNING: Graphic Language

"It's been there for a while so there's some sentimental value there," one man said. "I'm going to miss it."

"I worked there for a while, my parents worked there, anybody that has grown up in the town has in some way been connected to that hospital," another man said.

Kings Park Psychiatric Center Implosion Party
Kings Park Psychiatric Center smokestack to be demolished (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Local historian Stephen Weber said he's sad to see the landmark go.

"Because in many ways, even before GPS, that's how you navigated. You looked for the tower and it helped you navigate. It saved many a fisherman way before the times of radar and other things and it was always a part of our community," Weber told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall.

Others think the structure is an eyesore and are happy to see it go.

"Being as close as we are to it we're all happy to see it go," one man said. "That's a part of our time a lot of us would like to forget."

The implosion is part of ongoing demolition of the center which closed in 1996.

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