Original Tutwiler Hall no more; building demolished on 4th of July

Tutwiler demolition
Tutwiler demolition(WBRC)
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 2:56 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - The University of Alabama started the July 4th, 2022 holiday with a ‘bang,’ demolishing the historic Tutwiler Hall at 7 a.m.

The explosions were loud and the collapse was quick. Tutwiler Hall. All 13 floors, gone in about 24 seconds.

“It was interesting to see it come down,” said current UA student Jennifer Baggett.

Jennifer Baggett watched it from afar and the found the building’s demise bittersweet.

“It’s kind of sad seeing the end of something you had a connection to but at the same time it’s really nice to see the growth of the new building,” she said.

University leaders say the demolition plans started one year ago, plans that included placing 500 pounds of dynamite in strategic places.

“Dynamite was not placed on every floor. They were placed strategically throughout the building to bring the building in the way we wanted,” said Tim Leopard, Senior VP of Development for the University of Alabama.

Demolition crews covered up parts of the new Tutwiler Hall next door to protect it from flying debris. All indications are there were no peripheral damage to the new dorm or to any other buildings nearby; just the fine dust to wipe up.

“You can see by the rubble pile it fell just the way we wanted it to,” said Leopard.

Built in 1968 Tutwiler housed more than 50,000 women.

“Obviously it’s really important for the old building to come down and monumental in that sense and eventful on this fourth of July day,” said UA interim VP for Student Life Steven Hood.

School leaders say green space will not occupy the site.