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Key Bank Tower Gets Date with Demolition

Key Bank Tower Gets Date with Demolition

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John Daley ReportingWe now have an official date and time for one of the most notable changes to Salt Lake's skyline in decades - Saturday, August 18th, at approximately 6:30 a.m. That's when the office building at 50 South Main Street, also known as the Key Bank tower, will come tumbling down.

Officials want the public to see it, but ideally on TV, not in person.

Demolition of the Newhouse Hotel
Demolition of the Newhouse Hotel

The City Creek Center project has already changed the landscape of block 76 and the rest of downtown, but the big changes is coming soon. Around dawn, August 18th, the Key Bank tower will be demolished by explosives.

Neighbors who office nearby have been warned to expect some dust. Duane Ford told us, "I'm going to be away when it happens. They said they are going to drape the building and so that the dust won't be too much of an affect. I think they're going to vacuum that afterwards."

The several block area adjacent to the building will be closed the public. The contractor has received a variance from the state air quality board.

Demolition of the Newhouse Hotel
Demolition of the Newhouse Hotel

Bryce Bird, with the Division of Air Quality, said, "And so there will be silica, there may be some metals involved with that. Not hazardous per se, but for those people who are sensitive to that they really should avoid the area, especially during and immediately after the demolition."

The demolition is reminiscent of another two decades ago. An old classic, the Newhouse Hotel, came down when it was deemed by the city to be structurally unsafe.

A huge crowd had gathered. It was enveloped in a dust that was likened at the time to that from the eruption of Mt. Saint Helen's. Even the news crews got it.

Just where will be the best spot to watch this event take place? Probably right at Salt Lake's downtown Marriott hotel. When the implosion date leaked out, hotel rooms with windows to the north were quickly snatched up.

Steve Lundgren, General Manager of the Marriott Downtown, said, "The hotel was nearly full, but there have been a lot of people who've tried to catch those last 15 or 20 rooms."

Those at the hotel will be "sheltered in place," essentially sealed in as balconies, outside stairwells and rooftops will all be closed.

For the best views, project managers say watch it on TV; you'll get all the demolition with none of the dust. Authorities want residents to stay inside during the demolition, avoid the site and watch the demolition on television.

Eyewitness News will provide an eye in the sky with coverage and video of the Key Bank demolition from all angles. Watch it here on August 18th, starting at 6:15 a.m.

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