Vermeer Plants Hit by Tornado

Charlotte Convention Center Crumbles Into History Books

Fri July 08, 2005 - Southeast Edition
CEG



CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) Charlotte’s old convention center — an anachronism since a new building opened a decade ago — fell with a boom as a demolition team started clearing the downtown site for a skyscraper.

When the debris settled from the June 26 implosion, the building’s signature feature — nine aluminum-and-steel rooftop pyramids — sat intact atop the mass of rubble. The 1,000 tons of roofing fell three stories.

David Griffin Jr., vice president of DH Griffin , the company that brought down the building and will spend two months clearing the rubble, said his crew expected the pyramids to survive.

Developer Afshin Ghazi plans a 53-story residential high-rise and shopping complex on the convention center’s ruins.

Flying debris shattered three windows at nearby buildings, including the Charlotte Plaza building across the street. The contractors will pay for repairs.

Charlotte opened a new, $148-million convention center in 1995.

Caption:The old Charlotte Convention Center begins to tumble into oblivion June 26. DH Griffin will spend the next two months cleaning up the site. (AP photo)