Before, during, and after the Western United Life Building implosion
MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - March 25, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. the Western United Life Building in Downtown Midland was brought to the ground.
The 12-story building was built in the 1940′s and was abandoned in the 1980s after an oil crash took its toll on Downtown Midland.
In 2017, the building raised concern after 16-year-old John Butler died falling 11 stories in the vacant high rise.
In 2018, the Midland Development Corporation purchased the Western United Life Building. The MDC along with the City of Midland worked to try and save the building, but it was proven to not be feasible.
The decision was eventually made that the structure needed to come down.
Officers with the Midland Police Department arrived downtown at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday to close off streets and set up traffic barriers around the demolition area. Shortly after this Midlanders began to pour downtown, anxiously awaiting the collapse of history.
Sirens blared through downtown, informing onlookers that it was almost time. The city grew silent in anticipation.
Midland Mayor Lori Blong along with Keitha Butler, the mother of John Butler, pushed the plunger down to begin the blasts.
One after another explosions were heard, and then the building began to crumble.
As for what’s next, The City of Midland and Midland Development Corporation currently have a ‘Request for Proposal’ out that will close on March 31. The City and the MDC will then form a committee to decide what will go in The Western United Life building’s place.
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