VIDEO: LifeWay tower implodes with nearly 700 pounds of explosiv - WSMV News 4

VIDEO: LifeWay tower implodes with nearly 700 pounds of explosives

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Dozens of onlookers braved the cold temperatures on Saturday morning to watch LifeWay's former headquarters, Draper Tower, be imploded.

It took 680 pounds of explosives to bring down the 12-story building, most recognizable for the two crosses on either side.

"As the explosions were going off, it was just awesome," Charlie Legeman said. "You see it on video on YouTube and stuff, but to be here in-person and be here with my son, it was cool." 

Watching the demolition of a building that has been part of Nashville's skyline since the 1990s was emotional for some onlookers.

"Two of my brothers have worked for LifeWay for many years," Jonathan Cox said. "The kids would do the little vacation bible school videos when they were little, and we have those memories of working in the building so it is a sentimental attachment to the building."

It took just 20 seconds from the first boom to reduce the tower to a pile of rubble. The cloud of dust left behind could be seen for miles.

Robin and Alan Goodman were visiting Nashville from Texas. They stayed at a nearby hotel where officials told guests they either had to leave for most of the morning or be locked in for safety reasons. 

"I didn't really want to be in the hotel in case something went wrong," Alan said. 

No issues were reported related to the implosion. The plan is the recycle all the steel from the tower and up to 90-percent of the concrete. 

The LifeWay tower demolition will make way for a new, billion-dollar development project called Nashville Yards.

The 15-acre development will feature stores, office space, apartments, condos, and a Hyatt Regency Hotel. The hotel will have 591 rooms, making it the third largest hotel near downtown. 

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