Melissa Locker

To make way for a new headquarters, American Airlines imploded their old campus in a brilliant metaphor of making way for the new. It required 100 pounds of dynamite and 300 pounds of shaped explosive charges to take down the six old buildings totaling 331,000 square feet that were spread across 97-acres of land in Fort Worth.

American Airlines first moved into the buildings in 1983, a few years after they had relocated their headquarters from New York City to the Dallas Fort Worth area, which has since become their hub. They outgrew the space, though, and the buildings have been vacant since 2009.

To prepare the building for demolition, according to the Star-Telegram, all hazardous materials were removed and then crews cut through beams and walls to weaken the structure before strategically placing and dynamite around the space. Then it was just a question of retreating to a safe distance to watch the implosion. The Dallas Morning News reported that American Airlines hosted a casual employee watch party for the implosion, giving interested employees the chance to take in the action from the safety of a nearby garage.

The airline expects to start construction on its new $350 million headquarters this summer in the hopes that it will be open for business by fall 2018. American Airline’s CEO Doug Parker missed the implosion, because he was at a meeting to discuss solutions for the long airport security lines, but according to the Dallas Morning News, he sent a message to his employees: “Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to blow up the past.”

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