Photos from the Hudson's Building Implosion  (October 25, 1998)

(Click on any of the thumbnails below to view the full-sized photo.)

At about 5:50 p.m. on Sunday, October 25, 1998, a piece of history was destroyed using 2,500 pounds of explosives.  Change is inevitable and the mortality of people and structures is very real—we all recognize that—but my mother (who was out of town at the time) almost had tears in her eyes when I showed her the pictures.   The building, which she had shopped in many times as an adolescent, was a piece of history, a symbol of downtown Detroit before changing demographics and white flight.

But, in a more shortsighted sense, the demolition was .... well .... cool!   Beavis and Butthead would have approved.  Dave Barry has written that men have a fascination with destroying things .... that we start in our college years by dropping television sets off the tops of apartment buildings to watch them hit the concrete, and that by our mid-30s we've graduated in many cases to fully operational Air Force bombers.   I thoroughly enjoyed the demolition because it represented a supreme pinnacle of male achievement .... blowing stuff up.

Fist, we have the obligatory before picture .... note that the building is .... like .... standing and stuff ....

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Then there was the crack .... crack .... crack of the explosives.  In the next picture, note the dust pouring out of the sides of the building.

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Then it begins to fall ....

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Now it is really falling ....

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.... and falling ....

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.... and falling ....

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.... now it begins to get really cool .... the implosion raised a huge dense cloud of dust, which stayed very close to the ground and began to spread outwards .... at one point it was like a Godzilla movie with people running to outrun the cloud front .... in this next picture, note the girly man to the left who is running from the dust.... I'm sure that later that day he was explaining to his hairdresser what a close call it was ....

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.... and now the cloud is getting closer .... still hugging the ground ....

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.... as it ended up, I was one of the few people (maybe 15% of the crowd) who waited for the dust cloud to arrive.  It was positively magnificent .... it completely blocked out the sky, cars were driving with their headlights on, it was like nuclear winter or something .... and you could really smell the dynamite.  The following are pictures of the nuclear winter ...

The picture below is from the parking lot where we parked.  Whoa! ..... way cool.!

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Below (from left to right) is Michael, Christian, me, and Susanne.   What a background!

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Here are cars driving down Gratiot Ave. away from the action.  Note that many cars have their headlights on.

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Below is Michael hamming it up for a photo to send home to the folks

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Here is Christian doing the same thing.

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As we drove away, it took us perhaps ten blocks until we could see the sun again.

Finally, I have a great animated .GIF made by Richard Fanta from his photographs (caution, it is about 2.5M).

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