Iconic

Visitors to Oregon’s iconic Yaquina Head Lighthouse won’t get the view they might be expecting. Instead, they may be surprised to find the 93 ft. (28 m) tall tower shrouded in a wrap of white. For the second time in seven years, workers erected scaffolding around the lighthouse, the Oregon Coast’s tallest, then cloaked the scaffolding under a coat of plastic.

Connecting downtown Knoxville, Tenn., with south Knoxville and serving as a gateway to the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Henley Street Bridge has been carrying U.S. Route 441 traffic across the Tennessee River since 1931. In 2011, the deteriorating bridge was dismantled down to its iconic arches, as part of a multi-million dollar rehabilitation project.

In what’s being described as the largest demolition in the state’s history, crews in Hollywood, Fla., have successfully imploded the Port Everglades Power Plant, using 450 lbs. (204.1 kg) of dynamite and 90 controlled explosions. It took only a minute for the four 7,500 ton (6,803.8 t) boilers and smokestacks to collapse as predicted, both in timing and location.

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) When Superstorm Sandy hit this past October, it was the Jet Star roller coaster itself that plunged into the waves off the amusement pier where it had been anchored for decades. Work crews began tearing down the remains of the roller coaster and placing them on a huge storage barge, which carried away the last remnants of the beloved ride within 48 hours.

CHICAGO (AP) Bruce J. Graham, the pioneering architect who designed Chicago’s two most iconic skyscrapers, including the formerly named Sears Tower, died at age 84, a public relations firm hired by his family said March 8. Graham died the morning of March 6 in his sleep at his Hobe Sound, Fla., home of complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement from firm SCC Grossman.

NEW YORK (AP) When owners of the Empire State Building decided to blanket its towering facade this year with thousands of insulating windows, they were only partly interested in saving energy. They also needed tenants. After 78 years, Manhattan’s signature office building had lost its sheen as one of the city’s most desirable places to work.

Rubber-neckers traveling on both sides of the Skyway in Buffalo have been watching in fascination for months now as heavy equipment works its way through the city’s most famous Auditorium Theater. Being slowly reduced to recycling rubble, the Aud will be gone by June.

(Editor’s Note: This article is the last in a 10-part series on iconic United States construction projects.)One highway project stands out in the history of U.S. construction for its complexity, problems and ultimate achievement: Boston’s “Big Dig.”Now 99 percent complete, this excavation, tunneling, and road and bridge project has burrowed underneath the length of Boston.

(Editor’s Note: This article is the ninth in an occasional series on iconic United States construction projects.)The Transcontinental Railroad, built almost entirely by hand in the 1860s, and conquering terrible obstacles, including Native American attacks, has often been called the greatest construction achievement in the United States during the 19th century.

The “Mighty Mac,” the strong, graceful, bridge, which spans the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan, is one of the nation’s greatest bridge-building achievements of the 20th century, uniquely conquering wind, waves and ice over its 5-mi.

(Editor’s Note: This article is the seventh in an occasional series on iconic United States construction projects.)In 1931, while the United States was flat on its back in the Great Depression, the country rose from the mat, flexed its muscles and began building the mighty Hoover Dam, not only taming the angry, flood-prone, Colorado River but also demonstrating the distressed nation’s determination to survive economic fear.