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Vanderbilt’s Carmichael Towers East 1 and 2 set to be imploded Saturday

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 17:23:11-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Two iconic buildings on Vanderbilt’s Campus are set to be imploded on July 31 at 9 a.m. NewsChannel 5 will stream the event online, on Facebook and on Roku and Apple TV.

Carmichael East is comprised of two dormitories, Tower 1 and Tower 2. The towers have been home to thousands of Vandy students since it opened in 1966.

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You might recall that Carmichael Towers West (Tower 3 and Tower 4) were demolished back in 2019. Tower 3 was imploded and Tower 4 was mechanically demolished due to its proximity to an adjacent building.

One difference with this demolition is that two towers will come down simultaneously. The exact timing of the demolition has not yet been released but we do know that the implosion should start around 9 a.m. The towers were originally scheduled to come down last year, but COVID-19 caused a delay in the demolition.

The towers used to have a tunnel underneath that allowed students to easily travel between the east and west towers. The tunnels were closed after the demolition of the west towers in 2019.

Currently, teams are preparing the buildings for demolition by taking out all of the windows and all of the non-supporting walls to minimize debris and dust. I spoke with an employee at the Office Depot directly across the street from the towers. He said they will have to close the building and turn off their air conditioning so the dust does not get in the ventilation system. The employee that I spoke with described the dust as “wicked”.

With two of the towers coming down at once, there will certainly be a lot of dust on West End.

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There are a few locations nearby for viewing the implosion. Likely, the most populated will be the parking garage at the corner of 25th Avenue and Kensington Place next to Memorial Gymnasium, which offers an elevated view. It is likely, however, that Vanderbilt University will be using the roof of the parking garage to host a watch-party for VIP invited guests.

The area where the towers currently sit is being developed by Vanderbilt into new dormitories and classrooms. The buildings that will sit in the footprint of the current Carmichael Towers East will be identical to the building currently under construction in the footprint of the former Carmichael Tower 3.

According to a news release from Vanderbilt, roads around the towers will be closed by 8 a.m. The roads will reopen once the site is declared safe. Below is a map of the road closures:

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Camden Hall is a student freelance journalist based in Nashville, TN. He has had experience covering building implosions, airshows, and rocket launches.