Sunday, February 25, 2007

From Boom to Bust and back to Boom

My first implosion!!! Ahhh! And who can ever forget their first time? I sure won't, especially since I captured it on video. One of the hollering voices on there is mine. Do we know how to party in Austin, Texas at 7:30 on Sunday morning? I'll tell you what...


People here are really happy to see this turkey finally being dealt with. It was constructed by Intel in the height of the high-tech boom, and abandoned in 2001 during the bust, where it has been sitting unfinished and butt-ugly in a prime downtown location ever since with its rebar stretching naked into the sky. It's a symbol of some of the recent history in this town that, to many local people, do not represent positive changes.

We got up and out the door really early (the demolition was originally scheduled for 7:00, and there were street closings), stood in place on a chilly morning (OK, that means 40s/50s) for at least an hour to experience 10 seconds of big fun. There was a group of people with 9/11 conspiracy signs who saw a perfect opportunity to make a statement. For me, they are preaching to the choir. I think WTC 7 is the smoking gun. That building wasn't even hit with anything and it went down into a pile of rubble in a matter of seconds. I joked with one of the sign-bearers that it looked like they should've gotten that group to demolish this one, which was expertly imploded -- but look how much of it is still standing!! (see the pic below) Everyone was wondering why it didn't look more destroyed but they are officially saying they meant to do it that way. But hey, what do I know? My opinion on the the demolition of buildings in general is pretty worthless... about as valuable as the next guy's.

News 8 Austin has some good coverage available on this page, including great videos (link on the page). Our particular viewpoint was represented by Implosion Camera 3.



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10 comments:

Sal Costello said...

REMEMBER: INTEL SHELL WAS WATSON’S BACK DOOR DEAL

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson’s (now Sen. Kirk Watson) back door deal with Intel cost city taxpayers $7.5 million in subsidies after they left us with the “Intel shell” eye sore (That deal should be a reminder of how Watson’s deals with special interests always costs the citizens more).

Watson’s City of Austin Prop 1, of the year 2000, diverted a whopping $67.2 million of our bond dollars, intended for free roads, into toll roads.

And, today tricky Sen. Watson is pushing Managed Lanes, a fancy way to say toll roads without using the “T” word.

If you want evidence of the $67.2 million diversion email me for the City of Austin document at sal@AustinTollParty.com

beepbeepitsme said...

For a deliberate demolition, they certainly didn't demolish all of it. Perhaps they erred on the side of caution. Or perhaps there are just too many variables for each demolition to have the same result. I certainly don't know.

Amazing how people like to watch other people blow up stuff though. I can say that I have never seen a demolition, but I imagine I would be whoopin' and hollerin' with the rest of them.

(And to qualify that statement - as long as it was a planned and approved demolition.)

Undeniable Liberal said...

My first was the huge Hudson's building in Detroit, and it was awesome. Speaking of partying, I came a little too close to going to jail.

Blueberry said...

UL: Do tell!

pissed off patricia said...

Hey, I saw this on tv today. I must be missing a couple of genes because watching things get blown all to hell does nothing for me. I do understand the story here, just not the excitement of watching it happen.

Blueberry said...

That's OK PoP. I've got the missing genes that make me understand the hearts and flowers stuff. Different strokes for different folks, as the song says.

Ellie said...

Fun, I like the boom part, like the 4th of July, I know where that building is,,,,was. Good riddens to ugle half built architecture. Probably hello to high priced condos.

Blueberry said...

ellie: I think they are putting in some kind of government building. But high rises an condos are infecting the skyline everywhere down there. You won't even recognize it soon.

Old Broad (going back to Hill soon) said...

You got that right about the turkey thing. Oh, and I just saw last night on the local news where developers are once again trying to build their condos practically in Town Lake.
Hike & Bike trails? Take a hike.
Greed has no limits, yes?

Blueberry said...

Yes, OB(GBTHS), it is sickening. There are meetings trying to hold this stuff back, but don't know how much power the people really have.