Demolition and destruction breathe life into new construction
By Ben Wheatley
When an aging structure is long past the possibility of refurbishment and stands in the way of new development, it’s a sign that the building must come down. So, the time had come for the neglected 11-story Montagu Hotel that was completed in downtown Houston in 1913.
One of the first high rise structures in Houston to be built entirely of concrete and steel, the Montagu (formerly the Montague Hotel and Hotel Cotton) also was notable as being the first Houston hotel to equip each guest room with a bathroom.
In January 2008, the demolition and recycling specialists at Cherry imploded the building along with four other structures,
bringing the Montagu’s historical importance to a close. Dismantled but not forgotten, the Montagu’s many remnants
live on. More than 40,000 tons of masonry and 26,000 tons of concrete and steel were hauled from the downtown demolition site to be processed at one of Cherry’s recycling centers.
Today, recycled concrete remnants and steel from the hotel and other buildings are most likely resting in highway roadbeds, helping Texans travel more comfortably and safely.