The Savoy prospered at its 1616 Main Street downtown location for quite some time and a 17-story addition was built in 1966. However, the entire hotel finally went out of business in the late 1980s. Dwarfed by scores of taller, newer structures, the original seven-story building began to decay badly after many years of non-occupancy and neglect.
After closely monitoring the building’s condition, the City of Houston finally declared the building structurally unsound. City officials decreed that the building had to come down because it had become a safety hazard to pedestrians and to the city’s light rail line that Metro operates directly in front of it.
The building’s roof had caved in and the structure had begun to pull apart vertically due to a crack from the top to bottom of one wall. In the weeks before the demolition, pedestrians had reported bricks were falling from the decaying structure.
Cherry Demolition secured the contract to demolish the historic structure on Oct. 1, and immediately began its preparations for tackling the tricky project.
Cherry doesn’t often get to demolish structures as old as the Savoy, particularly ones that are built almost entirely of brick. The 103-year-old brick structure had no concrete or steel columns but instead was held together by bricks.
“It’s rare that we come across a building constructed like this in the Houston market,” said Mike Dokell, Division Manager for Cherry’s Commercial, Residential and Interior Division. “The building was not a good candidate for implosion for several reasons, and it needed to be taken down by an excavator.”
SOURCE: Demolition Magazine