Controlled Demolition, Inc.

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Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI), founded by Jack Loizeaux in 1947, is a firm headquartered in Phoenix, Maryland that specializes in the use of explosives to create a controlled demolition of a structure, with the structure collapsing on itself into a pile of debris contained within the site of the building. Controlled Demolition claims to have imploded "more buildings, chimneys, towers, bridges, and other structures" than all of its other competitors combined.[1]

The firm was created by Jack Loizeaux who used dynamite to remove tree stumps in the Baltimore, Maryland area, and moved on to using explosives to take down chimneys, overpasses and small buildings in the 1940s.[2]


The firm has claimed world records for a series of 1998 projects: The June 23 demolition of the 1,201-foot-high Omega Radio Tower in Trelew, Argentina, "the tallest manmade structure ever felled with explosives"; The August 16 implosion of the 17-building Villa Panamericana and Las Orquideas public housing complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, "the most buildings shot in a single implosion sequence"; and the October 24 project at the J. L. Hudson Department Store in Detroit, Michigan, which at 439 feet (134 m) in height became "the tallest building & the tallest structural steel building ever imploded" and its 2,200,000 square feet (200,000 m2) making it "the largest single building ever imploded".[2][3]

Select projects[edit]

Alfred P. Murrah Building, Oklahoma City[edit]

On May 24, 1995, the firm was responsible for the demolition of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after its bombing on April 19, 1995.[4]

The Seattle Kingdome[edit]

Implosion of the Kingdome, 2000

On March 26, 2000, the firm used 4,450 pounds of dynamite placed in 5,905 carefully sited holes and 21.6 miles (34.8 km) of detonation cord inserted over a period of four months to take down the 25,000-ton concrete roof of the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington in 16.8 seconds, one day before the 24th birthday of the stadium that had been the home of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. The total cost for the demolition project was $9 million.[5] The firm carefully planned the collapse of the roof to prevent its simultaneous free fall, creating a delay pattern that would break the roof into pieces and setting up 15-foot-high earth berms on the floor of the stadium to absorb the impact of the falling concrete. The demolition of the Kingdome established the record for the largest structure, by volume, ever demolished with explosives. The implosion of the 125,000-ton concrete structure did not cause a single crack in the foundation of the new stadium being built 90 feet (27 m) away.[6]

Gettysburg National Tower[edit]

CDI donated their services without charge to demolish and clear away the controversial Gettysburg National Tower on July 3, 2000 — the 137th anniversary of the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The National Park Service, eager to accept CDI's offer and save the $1 million originally set aside for the project, swiftly coordinated efforts to prepare the tower for the requested date. The 2 million pound (900,000 kg) tower was felled by 12 pounds (5.4 kg) of explosives in front of a crowd of 10,000.[7]

World Trade Center Site[edit]

On September 22, 2001, eleven days after the 9/11 attacks, a preliminary cleanup plan for the World Trade Center site was delivered by Controlled Demolition, Inc. in which Mark Loizeaux, president of CDI, emphasized the importance of protecting the slurry wall (or "the bathtub") which kept the Hudson River from flooding the WTC's basement.[8]

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40[edit]

The tower was disassembled during late 2007 and early 2008. Demolition of the Mobile Service Structure (MSS), by means of a controlled explosion, occurred on 2008-04-27.[9] National Geographic Channel: Man Made: Rocket Tower has a full episode on the demolition [10][11]

Martin Tower[edit]

Martin Tower, the 21-story world headquarters building of defunct Bethlehem Steel and the tallest building in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was imploded by Controlled Demolition on May 19, 2019, at a reported cost of $575,000.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About Us, Controlled Demolition, Inc. Accessed September 16, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Satchell, Michael. "Bringing down the house", U.S. News & World Report. Accessed September 17, 2008.
  3. ^ World Records, Controlled Demolition, Inc. Accessed September 16, 2008.
  4. ^ "Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building | Controlled Demolition, Inc". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  5. ^ Jamieson Jr., Robert L. "Perfect demolition leaves Dome a fallen souffle", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 27, 2000. Accessed September 16, 2008. (dead link 21 June 2019)
  6. ^ Hile, Jennifer. "Imploding the Male Monopoly of Demolition Business", National Geographic Channel, June 15, 2004. Accessed September 16, 2008.
  7. ^ Latschar, John (2001). "The Taking of the Gettysburg Tower" (PDF). The George Wright Forum. 18 (1): 31–32.
  8. ^ Post, Nadine M. and Debra K. Rubin. "Debris Mountain Starts to Shrink." . [1], Engineering News Record, October 1, 2001. Accessed September 16, 2008.
  9. ^ Wired Science: "Launch Pad Demolition Clears Way for SpaceX Rockets",Wired, 1 May 2008
  10. ^ "National Geographic Channel: Man Made: Rocket Tower". Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
  11. ^ Spaceflight news with Video and history of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-07-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Watch the implosion of a Pennsylvania skyscraper, a landmark of the steel industry's glory days". Baltimore Sun. May 19, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.

External links[edit]