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Workmen worked for weeks to prepare the building. First the smaller surrounding buildings were destroyed and cleared by conventional means. Then the first four floors of the tower were stripped and "weakened" to better control the explosion.
Finally the 100 pounds of dynamite were precisely distributed on the West side in order to collapse that side first and ensure that the remaining structure fell away from the two surrounding streets and toward the vacant lot area to the West. If you look carefully workmen can be seen here on the forth floor the day before. It all went off without a hitch...
|Here's A Quicktime Movie of the Implosion Courtesy of CNN (1.2Mb)|
From this point on all pictures were taken barely 2 hours after the explosion. The air is still full of dust from the 150+ ft cloud the collapsing structure kicked up. You can taste it and everything you touch gives up a layer on your hands and clothes. It filled the entire valley for the rest of the day and part of the next until winds came and blew it off. The extent of the dust can be judged best by comparing the front page shots of the before and after and in the other distance shots here. Everything adopted a brownish hue. Here we see the debris of the top of the Landmark as seen from the west vacant lot.
While planning the demise the demolition company discovered not only that there were no blueprints available, but also that there were many hidden and unusual features. Among them was this hidden stairwell (three, redish, distorted flights visible in center) which was behind a plain locked door and vsisible in the eastside shot. Was this the eccentric Howard Hughes' secret escape route?
The large post holding aloft the Landmark marquee had been removed long ago, leaving only the anchor bolts in this view from the southeast .
(In this photo from the northeast side of the site debris fills an old loading dock ramp recess.) Workers claim the remaining debris will be removed and recycled for use in other local construction projects within the next week or two (by mid-November) and the parking lot will be completed by March 1996.
After the blast, all that remained standing were these "futuristic parking lot signs" from the original hotel, long faded and forgotten.
Last Updated: November 17, 1995