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Landmark Tower Vanishes from Fort Worth Skyline

Tue June 13, 2006 - West Edition
David Recht



Fort Worth’s Landmark Tower, for years an icon of the Fort Worth skyline, was razed this spring in the heart of downtown.

The 50-year-old building was a relic of a bygone day, and brought a crowd to downtown on a bleary March morning amongst the Fort Worth skyscrapers.

General contractor D. H. Griffin of Texas proceeded with demolition prior to the scheduled 8 a.m. start, allowing members of Boy Scout Troop 326 to push the button that started detonation.

Thus ended a four month planning process, as the high-tech timing and blast-design sequence adhered to plans.

The biggest challenge to implosion was the heavily-urbanized environment in which the task was staged. Spectators were present, and the building was abutted by various land-use applications, including a church in the vicinity.

The Landmark Tower was demolished to make way for a parking lot. Building implosions have become common as downtown real estate prices dictate market-driven construction projects.

Sometimes, however, a building demolition can remove an establishment that bore years of happy memories for patrons, such as the case of Houston’s Shamrock Hilton.

Dozed to make way for increased development in the heart of Houston’s world-class Texas Medical Center, the Shamrock Hotel was built by oil wildcatter Glenn McCarthy, and was home to many historic Houston moments, and even was featured in the motion picture Giant, starring James Dean, who played a character loosely-based on McCarthy.

In the case of Fort Worth, expansive parking allocations will lead the way for increased tourism and shopping, which will fill city coffers with tax receipts.

The moment the implosion completed, an armada of construction equipment moved in to commence support operations.

Crews watered for dust control, in order to minimize nuisance dust, which would create a health-hazard.

Once the implosion settled (which was only confirmed after on-site inspectors gave an okay), pick-up began. The Landmark Tower clean-up was slated for 90 days.

Clean-up started with standard construction equipment, as ten-yard trucks staged in single file to begin the transportation process to the landfill.

These trucks were filled by standard excavators, with stick-modifications such as the Rockland RC concrete crusher.

The RC has jaw openings that range from 24 in. (61 cm) to 54 in. (137 cm), and can be used in conjunction with excavators in weight classes of 21,001 lb. (9,534 kg) to 101,001 lb. (72,640 kg).

Rockland also manufactures a demolition bucket with bolt-on cutting edges and replaceable end bits.

The bucket has specified factory pins or specified coupler brackets for mounting.

In the end, the haul-off process took nearly 100 times longer than the construction operations on implosion day.

The design and permitting process, however, required significant preparation time. CEG