The 17 story former Grand Palace Hotel on the upper end of downtown’s Canal Street was imploded on July 22, 2012 with a reported 400 tons of explosives. Skip to 1:49 for the explosions and 1:54 the actual implosion.
The building was demolished to make way for the new University Medical Center, the hospital being built to replace the old Charity Hospital, which was closed after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
The building originally opened in 1951 as the Claiborne Towers apartment building at a cost of $10 million. At the time it was the largest apartment complex in the city with 1036 apartments, and was built on land leased from Tulane University by the developer Paul Kapelow.
Construction of the I10 overpass in the 1960s proved detrimental to Claiborne Towers’ fortunes as an apartment block and it was partly converted in the early 1960s into the Sheraton Delta Motor Hotel, then in 1972 converted to a senior citizens’ residence called Delta Towers.
The hotel took on a new life as the The Ramada on Canal in 1984 just in time for the 1984 Sugar Bowl. The hotel was subsequently known as The Crescent on Canal and The Pallas Hotel, before taking on its final name, The Grand Palace Hotel.
The building was damaged in Hurricane Katrina and never reopened. Here’s another: