Demolition of Florence landmark begins this week

The 97-year-old Florence Trust building which will begin to be torn down this week.

Demolition on the 97-year-old Trust building in downtown Florence is expected to begin Tuesday.

Luke Wofford with Wofford Demolition said the track hoe will arrive Tuesday from Ohio and they'll start tearing down the historic building piece by piece.

Wofford added it will take about six weeks to demolish the building.

The demolition is costing the City of Florence about $400,000.

The city is clearing the site for Francis Marion University to construct its $15 million Medical and Health Sciences Complex in downtown Florence.

The roof of the building caught fire on May 29 but it did not do serious damage and did not impact the timeline for the demolition of the building.

The path for demolition was met with protests from two historic groups in Florence.

The groups argued that the Trust building is a landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

However, the Florence Design Review Board voted 6-1 to allow the city to tear down the seven-story skyscraper.

Construction on FMU's medical school is scheduled to start this fall. The medical school building will be three stories high and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.