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Mon July 23, 2012

Palace Hotel Implodes To Make Way For University Medical Center

Only rubble remains of the old Palace Hotel in New Orleans. State officials say the implosion of the 17-story building next to I-10 went as scheduled.

It began in 1950 as a luxury apartment tower overlooking Claiborne Avenue, which at the time was lined with oak trees. A decade later that boulevard was cleared and covered by the interstate, and the tower fell on hard times. It served as senior housing for a time, as well as several failed hotels. On Sunday morning, it took about 20 seconds to become history.

Residents were allowed to return after the soaring dust cloud settled and I-10 reopened in both directions. The site will be cleared of the rubble to make way for the University Medical Center. State officials say some material will be recycled. Actor Wendell Pierce sent out a message on Twitter that said efforts should now focus on taking down the interstate and restoring Claiborne Avenue.

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