An email sent this morning to the mailing list of the Downtown Austin Alliance appears to confirm the suspected date of the Ashbel Smith Hall demolition at Block 71, the first building implosion planned in the downtown area in more than 11 years — and quite possibly the largest of its type the city has ever seen.
Since TOWERS.net has received more inquiries related to the date and time of this demolition than any other topic we’ve covered on the site this year, we figured our readers would appreciate the confirmation that, yes, the demolition is expected to take place on Sunday, March 25:
Please notify your employees, tenants and patrons that public officials are asking people to avoid the area of Seventh and Colorado Streets during the early morning hours Sunday, March 25.
The 10-story Ashbel Smith Hall building, located at the southwest corner of Seventh and Colorado Streets, will be imploded in the early morning hours on Sunday, March 25. Anyone in proximity to the implosion is likely to hear a large noise, but this is a normal occurrence and may last only a few seconds. Please plan to avoid the area during the early morning hours this Sunday.
An implosion is being utilized in order to allow gravity to pull the structure down in a matter of minutes, rather than months, significantly lessening the impact the process will have on its immediate surroundings.
— Downtown Austin Alliance, March 20
Still, even with this date confirmed, there’s still no official time for the implosion nailed down — “early morning hours” is the best we can do for now. Further details, including the exact time of the implosion, were released yesterday by Hahn Public Communications, the PR firm representing DPR Construction for Block 71 developer Trammell Crow, but the firm has unfortunately placed an embargo on this news release until Thursday, March 22.
EDIT: We’re now free to release the details for the implosion of Ashbel Smith Hall, which is scheduled to take place at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 25. Here’s the statement from Hahn, representing DPR Construction:
Ashbel Smith Hall located at 601 Colorado Street will be demolished via an implosion method on Sunday, March 25 at approximately 8 a.m. (This time and date remain tentative and could change due to safety, preparations and/or weather conditions). This is the first building implosion of its kind since the implosion of the Intel building in 2007.
Ashbel Smith Hall is a 10-story building constructed in 1974 as an administrative office for the University of Texas. The more than 40-year-old building is being demolished to make way for a new office building. Due to the significance of the event, the necessary safety measures are being put into place. The public is advised not to venture downtown to witness the implosion of the building, but specifically cautioned to avoid 5th to 8th streets between Guadalupe Street and Congress Avenue. Multiple police blockades will be in place to ensure safety.
— Hahn Public Communications