Snap, Crackle--Crash; Blast Jars Memories, Too
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BANG! POW! . . . WHUMP!—Down went the old Tulsa Building %. Loan Association Bu -^ as seen from a|op +he McFarlin Building. -Tribune Photos Explosives, Prayer Drop B&L Building Snap, Crackle-Crash BY TONY SOLOW Downtown Tulsa sounded like a Chinese New Year celebration for a brief moment Sunday as the old Tulsa Building & Loan Association Building on Fourth Street was "dropped" in • he first use of controlled explosives for demolition in city history. A staccato series of explosions ripped the supports from the nine-story structure and it fell into a one-story pile of rubble right, where the building stood only seconds before. THE BUILDING was located between Main Street and Boston Avenue. The adjacent 15- story Hunt Building on the southeast corner of Fourth and Main will be dropped in similar fashion, pending City Commission approval. Mayor LaFortuns was "impressed" by the instant demolition technique, and hinted today that the Hunt Building project would not draw stiff opposition. "I would not want to commit to that approval until our people report to us," he said. (City Engineer Paul Gulley and Protective Inspections Di rector Jess Colbert were.at the scene Sunday, and are studying effects of the blasting. Window damage at the Mayo Building at Fifth and Main Streets, possibly from a piece of flying debris, was the only incident reported today.) "BUT IT WOULD say that, were we to condition our action on the Hunt Building on what we saw Sunday, it would appear to be favorable," the mayor said. i«arfrim^E "I was really impressed with the preciseness of the whole effort," he added, echoing the views of several Tulsans who were on hand Sunday. 'I couldn't believe they could drop that building within the confines of the front line of the building and the alley. "It was a very remarkable demonstration." The Hunt and Tulsa Building & Loan Buildings are the largest of several structures to be cleared to make way for a $20 million 40-story tower planned by First National Bank. THE SEIDENBACH, Haver and Merrill Lynch buildings ejh have*! Jready been razed by con-, ventioaal methods, and the Or- pheum Building demolition is underlay. Laffortune said tiie Sunday application of controlled explosives "very dramatically pointed up the aspect of safely, the primary benefit" over conventional wrecking, so far as the ciy is concerned. "The secondary benefit is that it clears the property instantly and enables a new structure to get. <j< the tax rolls that much quicker. I expect they (First National) saved six months by doing it this way," he said. Tiiv." demolition Sunday—delayed nearly two hours from tiie oiginal 7 a.m. "zero hour** ?eeai/sg- workman accidentally"' puMerr wires from electric d?- tonato} relays—was designed by explores expert Jack Loizeaux of Baltimore. LOIEEAUX WAS, for the most part, pleased with his feat of destruction as he inspected the rubble minutes after the 13 charges he had placed in the buiiduig brought it tumbling to ■the ground. It bad only taken eight sec- See BLAST, page 6B Blast Jars Memories. Too * * * • * * * * • Dramatic Moments on Fourth Street Recalled By ERNIE KEEN A part of me died with the blast which demolished a downtown building Sunday morning. It brought a feeling of sadness to see the pile of mortar, stone and dirt and rubble which was all that remained of the old Tulsa Building and Loan Association Building. During the early 1930s, my father, the late Carl Keen, was building superintendent there. Many a time when I was a youth, I would come downtown to check out a book at a lending library then operated by the nearby Palace Clothiers at Fourth and Main Streets. Invariably, after selecting my books, I'd pay a visit to my father's office (Room 312) in the old Tulsa Building and Loan Association Building. IT WAS IN HIS office that I first saw a typewriter—and took a few tentative pecks on it when his back was turned. In those depression days, people who had jobs had to do a lot of things—and I recall my father doubled "as a stationary engineer at the building. time I accompanied him to the base ment engine and boiler room and watched him tinkering with the intricate mechanisms. I recall one incident which brought my father some mention in daily newspapers—and an incident which, at my young age, naturally brought me a bit of pride. As nearly as I recall, an office on the top floor of the building had been robbed. The victims called my father's office as soon as the bandit had left. MY FATHER responded quickly by locking a gate on the stairway between the first and second floors, so the bandit couldn't leave the building without using the elevator. Dad ran outside with a little .32 automatic in his hand. He saw the bandit climbing out on a marquee which hung out at the second floor level, over the sidewalk. Dad ordered the man to put his hands up as soon as he dropped—but when the man landed he started running. Dad fired one shot from the .32— and the gun jammed; The man got away, but to the best of my memory, he was later taken into custody and found to be wounded—from my dad's shot, I guess.
|Title||Snap, Crackle--Crash; Blast Jars Memories, Too|
|Subject||Tulsa (Okla.) -- History; Buildings -- Oklahoma -- Tulsa|
|Description||Downtown Tulsa sounded like a Chinese New Year celebration for a brief moment Sunday as the old Tulsa Building & Loan Associaiton Building on Fourth Street was "dropped" in the first use of controlled explosives for demolition in city history.|
|Creator||Solow, Tony; Keen, Ernie|
|Digital Publisher||Tulsa City-County Library|
|Format and Resolution||Archive: 400 ppi tif|
|Scanner||Konica Minolta PS7000C MKII|
|Rights||Tulsa Tribune articles are reproduced by Tulsa City-County Library for fair use purposes only. Patrons using Library-provided reproductions must cite Tulsa City-County Library and/or the appropriate web page.|
|Original Repository||Central Library Local History Collection: Buildings - T-Z [vertical file].|