Friday, October 20, 2006

A. W. Higgins Power Plant

At 8 A.M. this morning, Progress Energy's A. W. Higgins Power Plant in Oldsmar crumbled into a pile of rubble. Since 1954, the power plant had been a prominent feature on the shore of Old Tampa Bay and Safety Harbor. The plant closed in the 1990s, and the power company chose to demolish the structure.

I was lingering over a cereal bowl miles away when I heard the rumblings. At first I thought it was our temperamental pool pump, or perhaps an airplane making a low turn. Our cat abandoned her customary morning lizard hunt and scurried indoors in a fluff.

It's a spectacle when big buildings come down. Today's implosion reminded me of the old (1967) Tampa Stadium (a.k.a. Houlihan Stadium, or more affectionately, the Big Sombrero), which gave way to the new Raymond James Stadium in 1998, and the historic Soreno Hotel in St. Petersburg, which gave way to a shopping center in 1992. You can see the demise of the Soreno in the movie "Lethal Weapon III," which also features the implosion of the 1958 Orlando City Hall building.

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