"We were probably too close to the action, especially in an old building," says Jason Mudd, the firm's managing partner.
Jason Mudd, managing partner of Axia Public Relations at 200 E. Forsyth St., said Sunday his offices provided “front row seats” to watch the old City Hall Annex implosion – and apparently also for damage.
“My office had the best view with an absolutely unencumbered view of the implosion,” he said.
From Axia’s office windows, “wearing noise-canceling earmuffs, we didn’t hear anything more than the dynamite’s blast, corresponding boom and the sound of the building shaking.”
When the dust settled, his group noticed fallen and leaning artwork and then a draft.
“That’s when we started inspecting each office for more damage. In total, we found one completely broken window, one broken window pane and two cracked window panes. There was some dust on desks and dust on countertops from the building shaking,” Mudd said.
He said that in hindsight, “we were probably too close to the action, especially in an old building. But we were all safe. Thankfully. We’d definitely do it again, this time with surgical masks and safety goggles,” he said.
The building was developed in 1920, property records show.
Mudd said that immediately after the implosion, the demolition crew and first responders arrived on the scene to inspect it.
“It didn’t take long for them to begin looking behind them and pointing up to the Blackstone Building. You could tell something was surprising based on how long people were looking, pointing up and taking photographs,” he said.
Mudd said from photos he saw on Facebook, the Blackstone Building had a clear tarp covering its Bay Street facing windows before the implosion.
“It seems that as the tarp came down, apparently there was some window damage,” Mudd said.
He said a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer on the scene confirmed it. “And we saw the fire department put up its truck ladder and a man climb up the ladder.”