Tallest Building Demolished

Updated July 24, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

What is the tallest building ever demolished?

The Answer:

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest building demolished by explosives was the former J.L. Hudson Department Store in Detroit, Mich. It stood at 439 feet when it was imploded on Oct. 24, 1998.

The 25-story department store was the tallest in America, and it was the second largest in square footage (only Macy's anchor store in New York is bigger). It closed its doors forever in 1983.

Complicating the implosion, engineered by Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) of Phoenix, Md., was the fact that construction of the building occurred in 12 stages between 1911-46 and no structural drawings of the building existed.

But the record-setting implosion went off without a hitch. The roughly 2,728 lbs of explosives placed inside the building reduced it to piles of debris in a matter of seconds.

-The Editors

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