Best Demolition - 2008
Crowne Plaza Hotel
A nice little urban legend was born during a few days in November. The Crowne Plaza Hotel, a 1970s relic near the Medical Center, was rigged with explosives and brought down. The trouble started when a video of the demolition showed a shadowy figure that resembled a person running through the hotel's eighth floor moments before the explosion. Creepier still, an open door mysteriously shut just before the building was blasted. Then, search-and-rescue dogs hit on a spot in the debris. The Houston Police Department started an investigation and the mystery grew. A suicide theory popped up: "Remember," someone commented on a Web site, "that this is a medical center and many of the patients that go to these hospitals...are terminal patients." Police squashed the rumors a couple weeks later, issuing a press release that said the extensive investigation revealed no evidence of human remains, and the dogs had hit on a spot where a worker had been cut and bled weeks before the demolition. Believe what you want, but the hotel was 13 stories high.