Photographer: Joseph Grant Jr.
Submitted By: Adrienne Grant, Controlled Demolition Inc., Phoenix, Md.

When Controlled Demolition Inc. was poised to implode the main tower of the former Trump Plaza hotel-casino in Atlantic City, N.J., photographer Joseph Grant Jr. discovered he had to move elsewhere to get any good shots.

Grant was going to “act as a spotter” and snap photos from the roof of the Caesar’s Atlantic City Ocean Tower, just east of the Plaza tower, but “the winds were so high that my hardhat was being blown off and stabilizing the camera would have been too difficult.”

So on that blustery Feb. 17, Grant headed to the top of the Caesar’s Colosseum parking garage, northeast of the demolition site, “and framed my shot from there” using a Canon 5D Mark IV.

It took 1,900 lb of explosives on 14 floors and more than 700 delays using a non-electric initiation system to carefully control the fall of the structure, but less than five seconds for Phoenix, Md.-based demolition contractor CDI to bring down the 39-story structure on the boardwalk.

Carl Icahn, who purchased the property in 2016, is expected to redevelop the 10-acre oceanfront property, although the timing for that project is less certain than fit was or photographing the demolition process. “You only have one chance to ensure your camera settings and timing are accurate,” Grant says about the 10-second-long takedown. “There’s no ‘take two’ with implosions.”