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Photos: Georgia Dome implosion doesn’t quite go as planned

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Decades of sports history (almost) reduced to rubble, memories, in just a few moments.

The fabric roof caving in as smoke rises.
The Dome, mid-implosion.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

More than 25 years of history (mostly) came down in just a few seconds this morning, with the flash of explosives and a huge dust cloud marking the end of the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta.

However, some of the stadium’s eastern wall—including two sections of upper deck paneling—and the northwest corner of the structure remained standing when the dust cleared.

Initial reports indicate the walls were supposed to collapse; now, they’ll be brought down mechanically if the explosives within failed to perform. It’s unclear if the charges went off in those areas.

Remnants of the dome amid dust.
Parts of the eastern wall, still standing, following the implosion.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

The stadium—the only venue in the world to host the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four—was (mostly) brought down by more than 4,000 pounds of explosives.

While there were no official public viewing places this morning, towers around downtown hosted thousands of spectators, and a live television broadcast provided coverage for all Atlantans to witness the demise of one of the city’s most storied sports venues.

Having stood only 25 years, the Georgia Dome was far from old, but its demise was not unusual for Atlanta. Just a block away, the Omni Coliseum was demolished in 1997 after 25 years of use; it was replaced by Philips Arena, which itself is being overhauled after less than two decades.

Similarly, the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium—home to the Falcons before the Georgia Dome was built—was used for just 31 years, before being imploded following the Olympics. Its successor for the Braves, Turner Field, lasted for only two decades as a baseball venue, before this year’s conversion to Georgia State University Stadium.

Now that the Dome has been reduced to dust and debris, the site will be raised and leveled off for the creation of the Home Depot Backyard. Eventually, a new hotel is also slated to rise.

The implosion was the second major demolition event of the year in downtown. Back in March, the old State Archives building was also brought down with a bang.

The Dome, as the first blast goes off.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta
The fabric roof caving in as smoke rises. Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

And now for a video recap: “Um, not all of it came down ... I think they messed up.”

The Georgia Dome

1 Georgia Dome Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30314 404 223 9200 Visit Website