UT System building implodes to make way for mixed-use development


Highlights

Ashbel Smith Hall, the former headquarters for the UT System Board of Regents, was brought down Sunday.

A 36-story building with offices, restaurants and retail space will take its place.

A cloud of dust took the place of a 10-story University of Texas System building downtown after an implosion thunderously reduced the regents’ former headquarters to rubble early Sunday.

But after 15 minutes or so, that too was gone, and from a distance, it appeared as if nothing had ever stood where the building was just moments earlier.

Ashbel Smith Hall went down exactly as planned, DPR Construction project executive Andrea Weisheimer said.

“The plan was to basically have the explosives on the ground floor in the west sheer wall, and we were going to make sure that it came down, kind of folded into itself, so it was all gravity-fed, instead of like this huge bomb,” she said.

Crews demolished most of the interior of the building, removed much of the finishes and swept floors to minimize dust and debris from the implosion, Weisheimer said.

“So really, all you saw was the dust from the exterior and some of the concrete, and that is it,” she said.

Trammell Crow Co. is developing the property site, also known as Block 71, which is bounded by West Seventh, West Sixth, Colorado and Lavaca streets.

The developer is planning a 36-story building with offices, restaurants and retail space. The building also will have about 1,500 parking spaces across 17 floors. Five of those parking levels will be underground.



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