My Front Yard

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The Kingdome Comes Down...

 March 2000

030100.jpg (71439 bytes)Wednesday, March 1 - 3:30 p.m. - Today they are continuing work right in the center.  In the big version of this photo you can see their spraying water up while they are pushing debris over the side.  You can really see through the dome now.  Just a minute ago I was looking and saw movement inside the dome only to realize I was watching a train go by and seeing it through the dome, not in it!

Some people read last night's news report about our being able to stay here differently than I did.  They think it said that those of us on Occidental (the street that runs between here and the dome) will be evacuated.  The rest of the grid area (1,000 feet around the dome) will only be requested to leave.  Guess we'll learn more on Monday.

030200.jpg (81680 bytes)Thursday, March 2 - 4:30 p.m. - Today brings a big hole right in the middle of the picture - they cut the supporting bar to make this big hole.  It's kind of cool. 

Otherwise the news is kind of slim.  So, I'll just mention that tomorrow is the first Mariner game of the season!  Ok, so it's a Spring Training game but it's going to be broadcast and I'm going to have my radio ear buds in and ready to go!

030300.jpg (76186 bytes)Friday, March 3 - 4:30 p.m. - My day started with a call from Jeff Hodson of the Seattle Times to tell me that the implosion date has been set.  Sunday, March 26.  This is excellent.  My 51st birthday is March 28 so I'm going to count this as a real birthday blast!!  Jeff also told me about the Kingdome - Dome to Dust section of the Times' website. 

Yesterday I got a note from Yves Côté asking me if I was involved with Microsoft's filming of the implosion in 3D.  I had no idea what he was talking about but this morning's Post-Intelligencer newspaper cleared up that mystery.  Check this out! Get your 3D glasses ready!

And, finally, Brian Sandefur was asking about the rubble they are supposed to be piling up inside the dome to cushion the roof coming down.  If you look inside the hole they made yesterday (where the lights are shining through) you can almost see the pile.  I can see it but can't get a good photo of it.

030400.jpg (59495 bytes)Saturday, March 4 - 12:15 p.m. - Very quite at the dome today.  There are a few workers around but they have yet to turn on their loud toys.  But the news isn't quiet.  Yesterday's date announcement gave all our news outlets a reason to kick up a bunch of Kingdome stories.  I suspect this is only the beginning.  But, one TV station last night had a long (way long) story on the dangers of the dust that the implosion will cause.  They interviewed people on the street who pretty much said that the dust would be a big problem for them.  I guess no one has thought about maybe staying inside and closing the doors and windows???? 
030500.jpg (83501 bytes)Sunday, March 5 - 9 a.m. - Yesterday afternoon the worked picked up and the pounding and chewing went on all afternoon.  This morning there are a small number of workers working and no noise yet.  Also yesterday afternoon they were moving some of the big cranes around.  It was kind of cool.  I watched one and it looked like a dinosaur slowly moving around poking its nose into the various sides of the wall, grinding away and then moving on.
030600.jpg (78593 bytes)Monday, March 6 - 4:30 p.m. - Jason Abbey wrote that he read somewhere that they aren't going to yank out what is left of the scoreboard but just let it go with the implosion...  Interesting.  Tonight's our big meeting to get details.  I'll have them here this time tomorrow! 

Meanwhile, you've got to check this out... Dan Sherbeck has added time lapse to his website!!!  It is too cool.  You'll need a movie player - he provides a link to a website where you can download it for free.  Then click on a day - after it downloads (which takes a while) it plays a movie of a day (12 hours - with frames 10 minutes apart) in the life of the Kingdome. 

Same day, 9 p.m. - I was going to wait until tomorrow but I'm afraid I'll forget a detail.  The meeting was really interesting.  Here are the high points:

  • The mounds of dirt are for the explosives and they are called magazines.  Thomas Kent-Tobias called that one right on the money.
  • The big pile o' rocks they've been building this week is for a berm to help shield us from the noise of the concrete crusher they'll be using after the implosion.
  • The implosion might last as long as 17 seconds. (I was in the Bay Area earthquake in 1989 and it was 17 seconds and I can tell you that is a looooong time.)
  • They are not going to remove the scoreboard.  Jason was right. They have sliced what's left of it so it will go down with the implosion.
  • They are encouraging us to leave for the implosion.  They are having a continental breakfast at McRory's (a restaurant on the corner just north of here).  We will not be allowed in or out after 7:30 a.m. on that day or before about 9:30 a.m.  I think I'm likely to be staying here.
  • They are going to drape our terrace openings and seal our terrace doors starting on Thursday before the implosion.   This could be a real problem as far as getting photos are concerned but they head implosion guy said that the drape won't be tight and I can sneak my camera through.  I can also choose to do my door taping myself and wait until Sunday morning to do it.
030700.jpg (57527 bytes)Tuesday, March 7 - 4:30 p.m. - Today's picture features that big rock berm and the magazines so you can really see them.  The guy last night said that the big pieces left after the implosion will be moved over just in front of the office trailers.  There they will be crushed to bits. 
030800.jpg (58476 bytes)Wednesday, March 8 - 4:30 p.m. - They have done a good bit of tidying up of the parking lot today.  Everything is stacked up and/or neatly parked.  Interesting... There is a cool link on MSNBC, they have a little movie about the implosion and at the end of it they show a simulation.
030900.jpg (55565 bytes)Thursday, March 9 - 4:30 p.m. - The Seattle P-I had an interesting article on the implosion this morning.  I happened to drive by the dome today and noticed that there is no shortage of gawkers (it's not just me!) with cameras.  They were everywhere.
031000.jpg (71028 bytes)Friday, March 10 - noon - It appears to be a quiet day at the dome.  The changes this week have been subtle.  Cranes moving from one place to the other doing stuff here and there.  The dramatics may be over until the big day.  I did hear last night that they will soon start dropping orange cords over the sides that will have something to do with the detonation.  No sign of them yet.
031100.jpg (245752 bytes)Saturday, March 11 - noon - If you click on today's thumbnail you will get a version that is REALLY big.  But, I thought it was time to offer some detail.  The big change today is they have made marks on the pillars. I've circled some in red.  Obviously they are making big plans for these spots!  The marks are numbers. 

Thanks to Mike Wakeman for the countdown idea.  I clipped a little code that will update it automagically at midnight (that's Dometime, of course). 

031200a.jpg (76544 bytes)Sunday, March 12 - 10 a.m. - Today's picture includes the runners from the St. Patrick's Day run.  They start at the Space Needle and run to the Kingdome every year.  In the part of the parking lot just below the picture they are all gathered now listening to Irish music and drinking stout.  Wonder what it's going to look like next year?

My neighbor, Lee Rosco, thought these pages needed a photo of me from my normal picture taking perch.  So now we've got one.  Thanks, Lee!
031300.jpg (53944 bytes)Monday, March 13 - 5:15 p.m. - Today's picture is darker than usual because 1) I didn't get home from work in time for the usual earlier in the day shot and 2) It's a gray, rainy, Seattle evening.  Still no significant change in how things look...
031400.jpg (63254 bytes)Tuesday, March 14 - 4:30 p.m. - Still raining.  But, the good eye award goes to Zack Willhoite.  He spied the explosives in yesterday's picture and I didn't even see them!  I've circled some of them in today's pictures.  They are under the black cloth that is wrapped around the posts.  Several people have sent notes that the detonator cords are under those black wraps.  Dave Demsey says that the cloth is to catch some of debris from the charges.  The big pile o' rocks is also growing.  I'll get it in tomorrow's picture.
031500.jpg (55022 bytes)Wednesday, March 15 - 4 p.m. - As promised, here's a shot that shows the action in the parking lot.  Several of you have asked for inside shots which are, of course, not my 'charter' <grin>.  But, First and Goal - the builders of the new football stadium where the Kingdome now stands, has a nice series of close up and inside shots - click on Construction Images...
031600.jpg (63685 bytes)Thursday, March 16 - 4:30 p.m. - Would you look at that sky!!!  Especially after the last few days.  It's amazing!  Well, Kevin Tessner found these pages today and immediately snagged the good eye award.  He pointed out that even though, I only saw the wrappings on the posts on Tuesday, my photos first started showing them on February 20th! 

Note today that the rock piles are getting bigger and bigger.  That football stadium is going to have a solid base for sure!

031700.jpg (263019 bytes)Friday, March 17 - 4:30 p.m. - We've got orange cords!  Now I had to make today's big picture (behind the thumbnail) twice as large in order to get the detail and even then, you care barely see the orange cords but they are there... Honest.  Also, I noticed today (and you good eyes out there probably saw this yesterday, but they have now removed all of the wooden bracket things at the end of every roof spine.  They are nicely lined up now in the parking lot where, you guessed it, the rock piles are getting bigger and bigger. 

Oh and I'm apparently still a media darling... a guy from Sport Illustrated called today. I probably wouldn't have considered returning his call because it's long distance and I'm cheap.  But, his voice message said that he was a big fan of the movie Smoke which is how I got started on all this in the first place, so he's got to be a good guy.  Alas, he had left for the day by the time I got home.  If you are reading this, John, send e-mail!

031800.jpg (68295 bytes)Saturday, March 18 - 3 p.m. - It's another gray Seattle day and there seems to be no activity at the dome today which is very unusual.  I called the Sports Illustrated guy back and got his voice mail.  Left him a message.  Ball's in his court, now.  Strange to think that this time next week, my deck will be shrouded and the blast will be only hours away. 
031900.jpg (75265 bytes)Sunday, March 19 - 1:45 p.m. - There was some interesting info in this morning's paper.  It's good detail about the blast.  Today there are workers around doing stuff but it's quiet stuff.  They are supposed to start putting the covers on my building on Thursday.  If they are like the others they are starting to put around, they are just big black curtain-like shrouds.  I was really concerned about what I was going to do for pictures from the time they draped me until they removed the drapes (maybe as long as Thursday-Sunday or Monday).  I asked he guy from CDI (implosion people) when we had our meeting a couple of weeks ago and he said he thought I would be able to poke my camera out the side.  We'll see. 
032000.jpg (57329 bytes)Monday, March 20 - 4 p.m. - We got new signs today on the dome - one for Turner Construction and one for Aman, the demolition contractor.  At first I thought it was a bit strange to put them up for the last 6 days but then I remembered all of the TV coverage there will be... Not so strange when you consider that even ESPN is planning on live coverage of the implosion! 

And, speaking of coverage, while I never did talk to the Sports Illustrated reporter, his 'fact checker' called today.  She was mainly interested in knowing whether or not I was a millionaire since I once worked at Microsoft.  She was clearly very disappointed when I assured her I was not.  But, she did say that the story (which I assume is about the implosion and will include a mention of this website - and I hope that's all, I'd rather not read about my lack of millions!) will be in this week's issue out Thursday.  She also did not mention wanting me for the swim suit issue.  Go figure!

And one more quasi-related note.  My Mom asked me this weekend how many people had been to these pages.  So I put the website log through an analyzer.  I was shocked to learn that there have been more than 12,500 unique visitors (if you come every day, you are only counted once) since the first of March!  Yikes!

Oh and Albert F. Magg wrote to tell me that the Kingdome made the New York Times Magazine yesterday!

032100.jpg (58068 bytes)Tuesday, March 21 - 4:15 p.m. - We have another beautiful sky today.  I noticed today, that they piles of rock inside the dome have now been laid out in careful rows corresponding exactly to the remaining columns.  It looks like they expect each of the columns to fold inward and land on these rocks.  Pretty cool.  

My office is two blocks from the dome and has several spectacular views.  Many of my co-workers had great plans to be there to watch the implosion.  Today they were told that the building owners were not allowing anyone to be in the building Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Many disappointed people there today.  I'd invite them all over but  their best view here will be on TV.

032200.jpg (52828 bytes)Wednesday, March 22 - 4:30 p.m. - Sean Watts today sent a note saying that the implosion will be happening exactly one day shy of the 24th birthday of the Kingdome.  It was finished on March 27, 1976.  Today's photo shows (red elipse) the drapings on some of the office trailers.  These are the same kind, I suppose, they will be putting over my terrace.  However, there is one structure (not in the picture) that they have covered in clear plastic.  I doubt I'll be that lucky.  We could know as early as tomorrow. They are going to start on our building tomorrow morning.

This morning's paper had a good article on best places to watch from.  When you get to the story, click on 'see graphic'. 

032300.jpg (60611 bytes)Thursday, March 23 - 4:30 p.m. - See the cranes in the foreground of today's photo?  Those are the cranes putting the drapes on our building.  And the great news is that they are using plastic - not real clear but opaque enough so that at least I'll get light and maybe be able to see a little.  Looks like they will get to me tomorrow.

I haven't seen it yet, but I have word that my site was mentioned in Sports Illustrated after all!  Welcome, Sports Illustrated readers!  Word also has it that the issue also says - on the cover - that the Red Sox are going to win the World Series... Yeah, right.  But, I digress.

For those of you outside of Seattle, Kingdome Implosion Fever is raging here.  Every media outlet is full of whatever they can find.  It's the talk of the town.  Everyone I see asks me "So are you going to stay in your place for the implosion?"  (They aren't reading this website, are they...)  YES.  "Aren't you in fear for your safety?"  NO  "You'll have a great view!"  No, my view will be blocked...  If I had a nickel for every time I had that conversation these days, I would be the millionaire that Sports Illustrated wanted!

Oh, one more thing... check out Dan's cam... his window got the black shroud.  If you haven't run one of his movies, you should.  They are great.  Oh, I just got a note from Dan.  He plans to put the camera through the tarp and starting Saturday, his shot will refresh every 10-20 seconds!

032400.jpg (47146 bytes)Friday, March 24 - noon - Ok, so we have a little departure today.  Kevin, Jon and Matt came today to drape my unit.  They were great.  Matt cut me a hole to take the pictures tomorrow and Sunday.   He made me promise to tape it up during and in return, I promised to give him and Jon and Kevin international exposure. 

So you will get a dome picture tomorrow and one Sunday, before the implosion.  It isn't easy.  I got this shot by having to hold the drape in with one hand in order to even get near the hole....  032400a.jpg (51377 bytes) I'm not going to even try to get the implosion.  I'll be watching it on TV. 

Several people reported that my website was mentioned in the St. Louis, MO Post Dispatch newspaper.  Rod Mickleburgh of the Vancouver Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada called today for an interview.  KUOW (my NPR station) called today to arrange on air interviews for tomorrow and then on Sunday.   My friend, Sherry, says I have moved from media darling to media slut.  What in the heck does she know??!!!

032500.jpg (51812 bytes)Saturday, March 25 - 9 a.m. - The action at the Kingdome this morning is photographers.  It's pretty funny.  Every time I've looked out my hole today, there have been at least a half dozen people around taking pictures and one or two TV vans. 

On the news last night I heard (I am not making this up) that during several Saturdays in April and May, they are going to be giving away souvenir rubble.  You can go by the North parking lot (the one you see in my photos) and get your very own piece of Kingdome rubble.  Am I going to get one?  You bet!  I have a place on the mantle just waiting for it.

Chris Armstrong sent me this link - a local radio station has done a song about the end of the Kingdome!

Many people have dropped wonderful notes into my site guest book... Go to the main page and click on guest book to read what your fellow page visitors have said.

I plan to take one final photo tomorrow morning before the blast.  And, then, of course, one after the blast as soon as the dust clears.  I'll try to get it up here by about 10 a.m. (Pacific time) tomorrow.

hole.jpg (28807 bytes)Still Saturday but now 10:15 p.m. - Steve Sorbo was one of the throngs who came to take photos today.  He got this great shot of my condo building all wrapped up read for the blast.  He had no trouble finding my unit because of the hole in the plastic.  He even added the red circle.   He took this at 7 p.m.  It's a still from his Sony camcorder. And he graciously said I could share it with you all.
032600a.jpg (43621 bytes)THE DAY, Part 1 - 6:30 a.m. - The first (and, hopefully, the last) crisis of the day has been fixed.  No newspaper at my door this morning. This wasn't terribly surprising.  I threw on some clothes, got my 'street pass' issued last week and a pocket full of change and hit the street.  Lots of police cars with their lights flashing.  There can't be another orange cone in the rest of the world, they are all in my neighborhood.  The side streets are full of street cleaning machines ready and waiting.  Police are everywhere. And I saw two helicopters.   But, God bless the Seattle Times, there was one issue in the box on the corner.  I made it mine.  I've taped up my hole but did use clear tape so I can at least see when the dust settles.

I just heard on NPR that in a few minutes 'we will meet Susan Dennis who is staying in her condo next door to the Kingdome while all her neighbors evacuate'... hmmm I can't believe I am the only one! 

032600.jpg (42397 bytes)The Day, Part B - 9 a.m. - Wow.  It was loud and it shook, rattled and rolled.  I had the TV on but, frankly, I was so involved with the noise and the feel of it that I didn't really see it.  It was a series of blasts that was like POW POW POW POW.  The cats ran to the other end of the house with the first one.  (They are fine.)  Stuff rattled on the shelves but nothing fell.  

It got real dark outside real quick.  Or, rather, from in here it looked dark.  But, that cleared up to sun again in about 15 minutes.  I cut my hole again for my first look and everything is gray.  It's very strange looking.  But, the strangest thing is being able to see what has been on the other side of the Kingdome all these years.   Unfortunately, the sun is preventing me from getting the best picture, but in Seattle, we try to never complain about sun. 

It was amazing. 

032600b.jpg (222232 bytes)The day, Part III - 1 p.m. - This is a big shot (when you click on the thumbnail) so you can get the detail.  We had quite a party here.  KingTV and KIROTV both came up to do interviews and get shots off the terrace.  Two of my neighbors came in with video they had shot and we watched their efforts which were wonderful and great fun.  It doesn't appear as if there was any damage here in this building.  There are likely many many places where you can see the implosion on the web - but here are two of my favorites - Dan's video and Steve's.

Oh, this photo has a red circle.  You can't see it well, but the flagpole that previously sat atop the roof of the Kingdome landed on the ground standing up!  It's leaning a bit but it's there. Amazing.

I also must mention what a fabulous job the clean up crews are doing.  They started work within 10 minutes of the implosion and they are out there now, sweeping, washing down and generally getting the neighborhood back in shape. 

My nephew is a big Red Sox fan and he's been giving me a hard time about my appearance in the same issue of Sports Illustrated that predicted the Red Sox will win the World Series.  I have a large collection of coffee mugs on shelves around the condo.  I discovered that the only coffee mug that fell off any shelf was my 1986 Red Sox World Series mug.  It didn't break, but I do think it's some kind of sign...

I know many of you will move on now that the implosion is over and I just want to say thanks for stopping by.  To the rest of you... tomorrow starts the new stadium!  I'll be here with the Photo Du Jour and I'd love to have you back.  Hey, we've got a new stadium to build!

032700.jpg (49603 bytes)Monday, March 27, 4:30 p.m. - They just took down the plastic.  You can see in the crane where they are still taking it down from my the terraces of my neighbors to the south.  Work is steady on the rubble.  Lots of big machines.  It looks like, to me, that the main chore is separating the reinforcing metal from the big concrete chunks. 

I'm going to leave the photos from last week on this page for a couple of more days and then I'll move them to a link like the ones above.  I've had a couple of notes asking if I was really going to rename this whole thing to Rubble Dome.  Nah, I'm going to leave it Kingdome, at least for now. 

032800.jpg (69447 bytes)Tuesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m. - I can see 9 of the rubble chompers like I have circled on this photo working away.  I'm sure they are called something far less fun than rubble chompers.  And, they aren't really chomping, more like just moving the stuff around.  But, they are working hard.  The pile of rubble is already looking different than it did Sunday afternoon.
032900.jpg (69133 bytes)Wednesday, March 29, 4:30 p.m. - The rubble chompers are hard at work and making great progress.  They are putting all the steel from the reinforced concrete into truck trailers to be hauled away.  It's quite cool to watch.  But they still have a long way to go.
033000.jpg (49364 bytes)Thursday, March 30, 4:30 p.m. - Big discovery today!  I had a group from work over here for an offsite meeting and one of the women I work with pointed out that I can actually see Mt. Ranier from my terrace now!  "The Mountain" as we call it here has been hidden since the implosion and today was the first day it was "out".  Unfortunately, it's not quite clear enough to show up in the photo but the red circle shows where it is - behind that column.  Also I have a much better view of the Safeco Field which is the home of the Seattle Mariners (baseball).  You can see the edge of it on the right hand side of this picture. 
033100.jpg (45964 bytes)Friday, March 31, 5:30 p.m. - I know I keep saying this, but I am still amazed by all the progress they have made on the pile of rubble.  They are just digging right through it.  I thought it was going to take months to get it all sorted but it looks like it's going to take only weeks.

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This page last updated on 03/31/14

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