CLEMSON — The historic Clemson House came tumbling down on Sunday as a controlled demolition reduced the iconic building into a pile of ruble in a matter of seconds.
Large crowds gathered on Bowman Field and atop adjacent buildings to witness the implosion that crews had scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
Prior to the detonation, the building itself had been stripped down to its bare bones and sprayed with water in an attempted to reduce the dust cloud.
Streets were closed to traffic and three siren blasts sounded just moments before a series of explosives were set off along the support structures of the building, collapsing the Clemson House from left to right and bringing cheers from the people gathered.
“That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” said Anthony McAdams from Seneca. “I mean, I’ve seen them on TV and stuff but to see it in real life was just awesome. You could feel it — in the ground, in your chest — it was so much louder and more intense than I was expecting.”
McAdams wasn’t alone.
Sharlene Winslett drove up from Easley with her two little boys to witness the demo in person.
“I thought, being little boys, they would enjoy it,” Winslett said. “My 9-year-old, Luke, loved it, but I think it scared his little brother. He’s only five and he about jumped out of his skin when the bombs started.”
That was not the case for 6-year-old Bella Martin, who shouted “Again! Again!” when the dust had settled.
According to Clemson University officials, The Clemson House was constructed in 1950 and originally operated as a hotel. Later, as the University expanded, it was transformed into office space and housing.
Due to maintenance issues and age, the structure had become the most expensive housing building to run, officials stated. It was slated for demolition after it was decided to be too costly to renovate.
The land where the building sat will be used as additional parking and green space, they said.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.