Clemson alumni recount memories after Clemson House imploded Sun - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson alumni recount memories after Clemson House imploded Sunday

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Clemson House after the implosion. (12/3/17 FOX Carolina) Clemson House after the implosion. (12/3/17 FOX Carolina)
Clemson House before the implosion. (12/3/17 FOX Carolina) Clemson House before the implosion. (12/3/17 FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Following a series of loud booms, the iconic Clemson House fell to the ground in a swift sweeping motion Sunday morning.

The Clemson House, which was originally built as a hotel in 1950 and later turned into an office and residential facility, was imploded at 8:30 a.m. in front of nostalgic Clemson alumni and other onlookers.

Clemson alum David Sides said he remembers the Clemson House as the go-to place for a haircut.

"It's one of the first buildings you see when you get into Clemson and I used to get hair cuts in the barber shop there in the Clemson House since it was a military college," Sides said. "All the guys would have to go get there hair cut there."

School leaders deemed the building was too expensive to bring up to code and renovate it. Project manager, Tommi Jones said the demolition has been a long time coming since stripping the building of any reusable materials. He said his crews have been working on it for over a year, as well as stripping the building of any reusable material.

Filed Operations Manager Thom Doud, otherwise known as the blaster, said it took roughly 22 seconds to implode the 7-story high Clemson House, but the preparation took about five days.

"We drilled just under 500 holes, used about 150 pounds of explosives, worked on the 1st, 3rd and 5th floors," Doud said. "We started here on this end and worked our way sequentially back, so that all 150 pounds aren't detonated at once."

Clemson Alum Jamie Byrne said he was recording the implosion of his phone and the sound shocked him.

"I heard the first explosion and almost dropped my phone because it was so loud."

Doud explained what those watching the explosion heard as the building came tumbling down.

"There were a series of 16 bangs that you heard. The first 16 were the initiation system, the second were actually the explosives detonating and displacing the concrete, which brings the structure to the ground."

Though Byrne said he is sad to see the Clemson House go, he is looking forward to what the future has in store for the space.

"I think it’s time to move forward,” Byrne said. “You’re gonna miss the memories of it, but the building was old, it was ready to go, and now there’s room for more nicer, newer, updated buildings."

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