DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It took just a few seconds and about 150 pounds of dynamite to bring down four downtown Dallas buildings Saturday morning.
First Baptist Dallas imploded four of its structures to make way for a new $115 million church campus. Onlookers in buildings nearby could feel the vibration.
“You could feel each blast as it went off,” said Bonnie Nannen, who watched the implosion with family members.
Nannen first thing she saw once the dust settled was the historic sanctuary. Even though the sanctuary was adjacent to the implosion, it was undamaged and it will remain intact. In the future, it will be used for special events, like weddings.
“It was awesome, especially when the light came through and you could see the steeple,” she said.
The new campus will include a new worship center, which will seat 3,000 people. A four-story education building will house a gym, theater and indoor playground. There will also be a parking structure.
“What we’re creating is what I call a spiritual oasis in the heart of downtown Dallas.There will be an acre of green space, a beautiful fountain, water, glass,” said Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Dallas.
The new First Baptist campus will be adjacent to the Arts District, and Woodall Rogers deck park, which is currently under construction. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said a development of this size and scope can spur even more growth downtown.
“As we have more investment, we get more businesses to come down here, people to live here, it helps all of us,” Leppert said. “It helps the vibrancy of the economy, no matter where you live.”
Seeing the buildings come down brought back many memories for church members, but they are looking forward to seeing a bigger and better church.
“First Baptist has been our church home, since I was a little girl,” said Sabrina Delacretaz, who watched the implosion. “It was a beautiful thing to see that because I know what’s coming.”