Ben Milam Hotel demolished

Luxury apartments will be built in its place

HOUSTON - A big piece of Houston history came down with a bang, Sunday, to make room for luxury apartments.

The Ben Milam Hotel stood in the downtown Houston cityscape for 80 years.

It was built to house traveling salesmen, who came in and out of town through the nearby Union Station, but it has been vacant for years. In front of a crowd, including Houston mayor Annise Parker, the ten story building bit the dust.

John Angelina helped engineer its implosion, using 350 pounds of explosives.

"We drilled over 400 holes for the placement of the charges," said Angelina.

Angelina said the process could be stressful.

"Until it gets on the ground it's a little nerve-racking," said Angelina. "But once she started moving, we could tell it went in the right direction."

Angelina never gets tired of seeing his work go off as planned, and neither do some of the younger Houstonians.

"This was my fourth one and you just heard a lot of big bangs," said fifth grader Connor Smith, "But the first one was the most frightening."

Now that the Milam Hotel is gone, a developer plans to build luxury apartments in its place.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.