At Last, the End of An Area: Reunion Arena's Already Beginning to Vanish, Bit by Bit

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20090417_Michels_ReunionScoreboardLowering_0022.jpg
Patrick Michels
Reunion Arena's scoreboard hit the floor Friday morning, as the city announced its plans to take the building down gradually.
If you've been planning your implosion party for Reunion Arena's impending demolition, well, we've got some bad news. Pack up your lawn chairs and put the cooler away -- from now till early October, Reunion's coming apart piece by piece. Mechanically.

Once the lower seating bowl is removed, City of Dallas senior architect Martha Welch told us today that some blasting would be done to drop the upper deck onto the ground -- but it would all be contained inside the building. "There won't be anything to see from the outside," Welch said. "It'll be very self-contained, to contain debris or any dust."
At this morning's press event at Reunion, the scoreboard was lowered to the floor, surrounded by A&R Demolition trucks. At the far end of the arena, piles of dirt sat where prime seats used to be. When it's time to raze the roof at Reunion, it'll happen slowly, piece by piece.

City officials touted the green cred they're earning by dismantling Reunion in phases and recycling more than three-quarters of the building materials and leaving behind a grassy field. Of course, there was a time when the demolition spectacle was being shopped to Hollywood, but, Welch said, "Nobody was interested."

Ultimately, Reunion wouldn't have been a good candidate for implosion anyway, given its architectural particulars. "The shape of the building and the height of the building is not conducive to implosion," Welch said. After years in the business, she says she's learned buildings need to be five to seven stories tall before implosion makes sense.

Specifics of the demolition schedule announced Friday:

  •  April 17: JumboTron screen lowered for removal
  • Through April 20: Heavy equipment delivered
  • May 31-August 31: Concrete crushing on site for fill material
  • June 19-29: Implode upper seating level
  • July 1-15: Demolish exterior curtain wall
  • September 1-30: Roof Demolished
  • October 5: Completion of grassy field

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