Controlled Demolition Inc. once collapsed the hotel where Elvis Presley was married as well as several places where he performed. Now, the Baltimore County company is preparing to implode the building where Presley was pronounced dead. The Phoenix, Md.-based company will be the ones igniting the explosives on Nov. 6 when a 20-story tower in Memphis -- once the main hospital of Baptist Memorial Health Care -- is slated to come down. "Yes, we've got quite a history with the King," said Controlled Demolition Project Manager Stacey Loizeaux. "Of course, he got around quite a bit and so do we."
Controlled Demolition will put explosives at key structural points on six floors, the foundation said. Once the charges are ignited, gravity will take over and cause the building to fall. And the whole Controlled Demolition 15-person crew plus additional contractors will be there, said Loizeaux. Even her younger sisters who aren't directly involved in the business will be in Memphis to lend support. "This one is a biggy," she said.
The foundation said in a statement Tuesday that this will be the biggest implosion in the United States this year. It will take only seconds for the 20-story, 924,000-square-foot tower to fall during the controlled collapse, but preparations have been underway since May when workers began removing salvageable and hazardous materials such as asbestos from the building.
The tower in Memphis is being cleared for construction of the UT-Baptist Research Park, a state-of-the-art campus designed for the highly specialized needs of Memphis' growing bioscience community. That's according to Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2001 to establish the Memphis region as an internationally recognized center for biomedical technology.