Spectators view city hall demolition from downtown buildings

Spectators view city hall demolition from downtown buildings
Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 2:49pm

Hundreds watched from the city's highest buildings as city hall came tumbling down Sunday morning.

It took only 8 seconds for city hall to become a pile of rubble followed by a large dust cloud covering a lot of downtown.

"It was scary we didn't expect it," said Anneliese Huenneke. "We were talking and then we just heard boom."

From high up in the air hundreds of people could also be seen watching from an empty lot on Santa Fe and Yandell.

"This will be a special moment in their lives that they can go back in many years and say I remember when...," said President and CEO of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Richard Dayoub.

Dayoub had his staff viewing the demolition from the highest floors at the Camino Real Hotel.

People inside the hotel were seen with cameras prepared to capture the demolition.

"This is truly a once in a lifetime occasion truly a momentous experience," Dayoub said. "We're excited to at least witness this moment in history."

Dayoub says the demolition opens a new chapter in the history of El Paso and specifically downtown.

"It's now a commitment to continue to build around that to make our downtown a very vibrant downtown like we want it to be," Dayoub said.

He said he would like to see El Paso's downtown compared to Austin and San Antonio within the next decade.

For those who witnessed the demolition, they said it would be a hard day to forget.

"I'll tell my kids when I get older," Huenneke said.

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