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Recapping Atlanta’s 10 most dynamite implosions through the years

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Videos: How The Omni, Midtown’s Wachovia Building, and many other well-known structures came down

What else can blend mass nostalgia, a palpable sense of loss, and a party atmosphere akin to college football victories like dynamite-induced destruction?

The answer is not much, if this compendium of large-scale demolitions from more than three decades in Atlanta is any indication.

For anyone with an appetite for destruction, or a curiosity for what once stood, we’ve scoured the depths of YouTube to find the best vantages on 10 noteworthy implosions from the fringes of Buckhead to Hapeville.

Strap on a hardhat and enjoy the short clips, presented below in no particular order:


Wachovia Building

615 Peachtree Street NE

(Demo begins: 12 seconds)

This video, captured from high within Bank of America Plaza, provides the best angle of the Wachovia Building’s 2006 implosion on Peachtree Street. At 14 stories, it had stood since 1959.

A condo tower and mixed-use complex planned for the site never materialized, and after several fallow years, the Georgia Proton Therapy Center now stands in the Wachovia tower’s place.


Airport administration tower

6000 N. Terminal Parkway

(Demo begins: 20 seconds)

In full VHS glory, this oldie but goodie shows an Atlanta airport administration tower from the 1960s falling in about three seconds, back in 1984.

Says one observer: “It just disappeared, didn’t it?”


State Archives Building

Memorial Drive at Hank Aaron Drive

(Demo begins: 12 seconds)

Last year, a chilly March dawn saw the last hurrah for downtown’s windowless, unoccupied “White Ice Cube.”

A block from the Georgia State Capitol, the former State Archives Building, which served as the PYM Technologies Building in Ant-Man, is being replaced by the $105 million State Judicial Complex—one of the most expensive state government structures ever conceived.


The Roosevelt House

582 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW

(Demo begins: immediately)

Just south of Georgia Tech, the 17-story Roosevelt House came tumbling down the morning of February 27, 2011.

Prior to its razing, the 1973 structure had stood vacant for a couple of years, after the Atlanta Housing Authority had used its 150 apartments to house disabled residents and seniors. (In this clip, the crowd goes particularly wild as the dust plumes rise).


Atlanta Fulton County Stadium

755 Hank Aaron Drive SW

(Demo begins: 3:15)

Prior to December, the grandaddy of Atlanta demolitions came in August 1997 with the fall of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium for parking lots.

Within about 30 seconds, the 60,000-seat venue and 32 years of Atlanta history—it’s where Hank Aaron hit his most famous home run and the Beatles played their only Atlanta concert—toppled down like so many dominoes.


The Omni Coliseum

1 Philips Drive

(Demo begins: 15 seconds)

Broadcasted live on CNN in July 1997 (a destructive year in Atlanta), The Omni’s explosive finale literally shook up reporters covering it from nearby CNN studios. Says one: “Whoa ... it’s shaking the building quite a bit.”

The 25-year-old arena, as they note, was imploded to make way for “more luxury boxes” at the future Philips Arena—the very features that a nearly $200 million renovation is ripping out this summer.


Rich’s Store for Homes

61 Forsyth Street SW

(Demo begins: 1:15)

With the exception of a guy who’s clearly addicted to large-scale demo jobs, a somber mood prevailed at the implosion of the Rich’s Store for Homes building, a downtown Atlanta landmark, in 1994. (Quipped one commenter: “Atlanta. Where historic preservation is a four-letter word.”)

The Sam Nunn Federal Center would be built on this property a year later. But first, an 11-year-old “Demo Man” did the honors.


Executive Park Motor Hotel

1447 N.E. Expressway

(Demo begins: 6:15)

Here’s a terrific aerial view of the November 2014 demise of the long-abandoned Executive Park Motor Hotel, a 1971 complex that had once offered about 500 “comfort-conditioned rooms” next to Interstate 85.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which had already owned buildings in the surrounding Tullie Road area, purchased the old hotel property for $9.6 million and has since built a gleaming new medical facility for kids.

Here’s the same toppling, as seen from the ground (demo begins immediately).


IBM Building

4111 Northside Parkwy NW

(Demo begins: 1:10)

In October 2012, an old IBM Building on Northside Parkway bowed out, making room for the North Atlanta High School campus.


Georgia Dome

1 Georgia Dome Drive (now the Home Depot Backyard)

(Demo begins: unclear; obscured by bus)

When it comes to the Georgia Dome’s last gasp, there’s no shortage of online angles to choose from, but the most entertaining has to be this Weather Channel vantage famously obscured by a MARTA bus.

One highlight: “Jesus, get out of the way, bus!” Another: the Chariots of Fire outro as the photobombing bus nonchalantly pulls away.