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Old 01-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default Demolition crew blows up New Haven, Conn., coliseum

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Crews set off a thunderous explosion Saturday to demolish Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a 35-year-old arena that held sporting events and concerts by Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

Crowds filled a nearby 10-level parking garage to watch the demolition, which makes way for a downtown redevelopment project.

“I've seen many hockey games and concerts at the coliseum, and it'* sad to see a landmark in New Haven leaving us,” said Ed Seward, 50.

Others have considered the building an eyesore.

“The first time I came to New Haven, I thought it was so very ugly. I'm glad to see it go,” said Linda Young, 32.

Much of the building already had been dismantled before two children, who had won a lottery, pushed a plunger to set off about 2,000 pounds of explosives.

The blast produced a huge dust cloud and left behind 50-foot piles of rubble. A few windows were broken on nearby buildings.

The $230 million development project will include stores and up to 280 housing units. A community college and a theater will move to the site and an adjacent property.
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