11-Story Albany Hotel Demolished Amid Fireworks

ALBANY (AP) -
Spectators watch Saturday as the Wellington Annex is imploded to make way for a new Capital Center in Albany. (AP Photo/Times Union, Michael P. Farrell)
Spectators watch Saturday as the Wellington Annex is imploded to make way for a new Capital Center in Albany. (AP Photo/Times Union, Michael P. Farrell)

An 11-story hotel dating to the 1920s was demolished Saturday to make way for a new $66 million convention center in New York’s capital.

Fireworks exploded and crowds cheered as the Wellington Hotel Annex disappeared into a cloud of beige dust. Some people positioned cameras on tripods to capture the demise of the annex, which had stood near the state Capitol for nine decades but was vacant in recent years.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan was among those posing for pictures.

“That was really an amazing thing to see,” Sheehan said. “To see so many people come out and witness history in the making and history in the coming, it’s really a wonderful thing.”

The implosion was postponed from Thursday to limit traffic disruptions. Streets near the demolition site were closed for several hours. Street sweepers lined up along a nearby street to clear away dust and debris.

The 80,000-square-foot convention center, dubbed the Albany Capital Center, has been in the planning stages for two decades.

“This is a new chapter in Albany’s economic future, and the implosion was impeccably timed,” state Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy said.