"Wow!" "Wow!" "Wow!" "Wow!"
Those are the words that can be heard on the above video as the historic Houston Club Building came tumbling down in a matter of seconds Sunday morning.
At around 7 a.m, a series of booms was heard in downtown Houston as the 18-story building at Rusk near Capitol streets quickly imploded into a cloud of dust and debris. A two-block area of Smith, Prairie, McKinney and San Jacinto streets around the tower was cordoned off and closed at 5 a.m. to allow for final preparations by D.H. Griffin of Texas, which oversaw the demolition.
Skanska USA plans to build a new 35-story skyscraper called Capitol Tower on the property. It is the first office building in Houston to receive pre-certification for LEED Platinum v4, the most stringent criteria established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Clean-up around the site is expected to continue for several hours before the streets reopen. The debris removal process will continue until the end of the year, a Skanska spokesperson said.
The company had previously removed all exterior brick and windows from the tower and had conducted asbestos abatement. Around 85 percent of the building's materials, including the demolished concrete and steel will be recycled, according to the spokesperson.
Established in 1894, the Houston Club has long been the gathering spot for Houston movers and shakers. In 1954 the private social club moved into the then-new building at 811 Rusk at the behest of power broker Jesse Jones. The Houston Club moved to One Shell Plaza at 910 Louisiana St. in late 2013.