Video Vault: Cleveland parking garage survives 1984 implosion attempt

CLEVELAND - You’d think 66 sticks of dynamite could take down just about any structure, especially a 34-year-old parking structure that looked as if a strong wind might bring it down, but that was not the case in 1984.

Cleveland had a spectacular implosion of the Cuyahoga and Williamson buildings to make way for the BP Building two years earlier in 1982.

Just a few blocks from that site, a parking deck, which leaned badly and had to be braced during construction in the fifties, was thought to be a simple, routine implosion.

But on that August day, one day after it was supposed to be a pile of rubble, WEWS reporter Alan DePetro was standing on Ontario Street near Huron Road with the eight-story structure still intact.

DePetro digs up historical photos of the garage listing 20 degrees while under construction. He tells of the garage’s checkered past; a design without ramps – elevators taking cars to levels, a system which mangled cars and led to the garage's short business life.

An aerial shot of the downtown location shows it sits on a footprint of property near where the Horseshoe Casino’s garage stands today.

Near the end of DePetro’s story, he is warned not to get too close to the garage as it’s not in the most stable state – or so they thought. I recall it took two more attempts to bring the steel-girder eyesore down, another failed explosive attempt and a final, successful demolition via construction equipment.

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