Landmark Tower Implosion
We heard there was going to be a building implosion in downtown Fort Worth on Saturday, March 18 at 8am. The building to be demolished was Landmark Tower. It turns out that one of Neil’s coworkers owns a condo in the building diagonally across the street from Landmark Tower. Brian and his wife are moving from one condo to another. The old one is on the opposite side and therefore has no view of Landmark Tower. Even though the view from the condo was on a diagonal, we would still be able to see the tower go down. The weather forecasted heavy thunderstorms. We decided to set the alarm and if it wasn’t raining we’d go to Brian’s, if it was raining, we’d go back to bed.
5:45am: Neil and I got up about 5:45 and got ready to go. Sprinkling, but no real rain.
6:30am: We left the house bound for Brian’s building.
7:00am: We rode up the elevator to the old condo, where they are moving out, because we weren’t sure if there would be trouble getting into the new condo. They have not actually taken possession of the new place with the view because not all the appliances are in, but they were given the keys.
7:25am: Brian and his wife both went downstairs to pick up friends and relatives from the lobby because you have to have a pass to ride the elevators. While Neil and I waited in the old condo, the news flash said that the demolition had been moved up to 7:30 instead of 8. We panicked because we didn’t know where to go to get to the new condo, or if we would even be able to get in. Neil called Brian’s cell phone and barely was able to get through because the building is not good for cell communications. Even through the breaks in the connection, Brian understood that the new time was 7:30. He and his friends booked it up to the 30th floor from the 19th on the stairs because the elevators were full.
7:30am: The news said there would be a warning siren 2 minutes before demolition was begun. We still hadn’t heard the sirens. Brian’s wife called and said she was in the new condo. We all raced up the 4 flights to the 34th floor and plastered ourselves to the windows.
7:45am: The siren went off.
7:47am: Small orange flashes were seen on each side of the building about 20 feet from each corner. They began at the bottom and moved up. Then, a big boom, and the building shrank like a popsicle melting in fast motion. The windows in the condo shook from the blasts. It only took 13 seconds, and the tower was down. The cloud of dust was immense and rose slowly toward the 34th floor. All we could say was “wow”.
Within the next few minutes, it started to really rain. The consensus among the group was that the demolition crew heard the front was about to arrive and decided to begin the implosion before it got too bad.
As the air cleared we noticed the tower lot had been ringed with 18-wheeler trailers. A formidable presence of 12 foot high walls to block flying debris from the surrounding buildings. The wreckage had spewed out some on one side between two of the trailers, burying half of each. Debris was strewn onto a parking lot across the street from the blast site and a large chunk of wall had landed on the roof of an adjacent building.
8:00am: It was all over. I’m glad we went. Who knows if we’ll ever get a chance to see an implosion in person again. We watched the crowds of people and cars disperse. We wondered if some of those cars were arriving, only to be disappointed they’d missed the event.