Vanderbilt's Carmichael Towers East demolished in controlled implosion

Carmichael Towers East implosion
Posted at 12:55 PM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 18:43:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After 55 years of standing tall over West End Avenue, two of Vanderbilt University's oldest residence towers were demolished to make way for new construction.

Metro Police closed off traffic around 8 a.m. as the crowd claimed their places to watch the show. "This is fun, we’ve never seen this before," said Ruth Alwes, a 1983 Vanderbilt graduate.

Ruth and her husband Kenny, also a VU grad, never lived in one of the 14 stories of Carmichael Towers, but they still had plenty of stories from inside.

"Spent some time there, yea," said Ruth.

"It was the wildest, drunken bash I’ve ever been to. It was called the Bullfrog Party," said Kenny.

Other stories may be best left to history. "Those brain cells are long gone," joked Kenny.

So as the old dorm became history, people of all ages couldn't resist seeing it come down.

Watch the implosion below:

"Oh my gosh, that’s awesome," said Kaidence Shoelen, an 11-year-old that came out to see the implosion.

Once the dust and debris clear, a new residential college will take its place. "Those dorms needed to be blown up. They were dated and done back in the day. It’s time for something new," said Ruth.

The replacement residential hall will be ready in 2024. Little Kaidence will start touring college campuses a few years after. "Just to see how this big building that took so long to build can just come down in a matter of seconds," she said.

And if she ends up at Vanderbilt, she can tell the story of the day the old came crashing down and something new took its place. "It’s amazing the new stuff that’s going up and what they’re making room for," said Ruth.