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Crowds of on-lookers see first ever building implosion in Albany
ALBANY -- Thousands of on-lookers came out to see the implosion of the Wellington Annex building Saturday, in downtown Albany. The Albany city skyline is forever changed, and some on the crowd say it has been changed for the better.
"It's cool because I've looked at this building for years and I even said to myself it's just an eyesore for the skyline you know so we need a reason for it to go down and the convention center is a good excuse you know," says Albany resident, Dana Owens.
With colors streaming out, in a matter or seconds the building was reduced to rubble. It's the first building to be imploded in the city's over 400 year history. It started with seven explosions, then the Wellington Annex came crashing down. A cloud of dust filled the air, and the crowd cheered. Everything went as planned.
"Mind-blowing it was amazing. There was so much fanfare. Colors, there was fire balls it was unreal," says Michael Spiesbach
The original implosion was set for Thursday, but was moved to Saturday morning to not interfere with the busy workday downtown. It did however stop the flow of traffic.
Built in the 1920's the Wellington Annex housed spillover from the historic Wellington Hotel, but it recent years has been in decline.
"Unfortunately it was an easy building to access for taggers and people who wanted to live in it. I guess there was some vagrants in there, and think people really were in it trespassing way too much. It wasn't an unsafe building but there was too much trespassing," says Susan Holland, Executive Director of the Historic Albany Foundation.
Some were upset with the demolition of a historic building, but it's making way for a brand new Civic Center. Now that the Wellington Annex is gone construction can continue on the new Albany Capital Center. That's expected to be completed sometime in mid-2016.