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• Baptist Memorial Hospital •

Implosion of Baptist Hospital's Former Main Tower Is Significant Milestone in Memphis' Economic Future

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, November 6, 2005 - Baptist Memorial HospitalThe implosion of Baptist Memorial Health Care's former Medical Center Main Tower this morning marked a significant step forward in the creation of a world-class center for bioscience research in the heart of the Memphis medical district. The 21-story building, which housed what was once the largest private hospital in the nation, was a symbol of Memphis' rise as a national leader in healthcare. In the hospital's footprint, Memphis is building a new symbol – one that will help mark Memphis as an international center for developing, teaching and marketing biomedical technology.

In an effort led by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, new buildings will soon rise as the UT-Baptist Research Park begins to take shape. The research park, which is at the heart of a city-wide bioscience development strategy, will lead to $250 million in annual salaries from 5,000 new jobs and have a $2 billion annual economic impact on the Memphis economy.

"My hope is that everyone realizes this event is more than simply tearing down an old building," said Dr. Steve Bares, Executive Director and President of Memphis Bioworks Foundation. "This is a symbol of the progress Memphis is making toward becoming a world-recognized center for biosciences." The research park will ultimately consist of 1.2 million square feet of laboratory, research, education and business development space located on a 10-acre campus.

Clean up will begin immediately after the implosion, and debris removal is expected to take approximately 11 months to complete. New building construction will begin in the second quarter of 2006. Completion of the research park is estimated to take ten years, and will be completed in six phases. The Foundation is executing a business plan that is leveraging Memphis' unique assets to fulfill the nation's need for an urban biotech research park. "Memphis already has a strong foundation for bioscience leadership that is built on cancer research, musculoskeletal and orthopedic innovation, medical device development, and a history of entrepreneurship," said Bares. "That, coupled with the city's international reputation as a logistics leader, gives us a clear advantage in the growing biotechnology industry." The demolition effort is led by Chandler Demolition Company, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee. Chandler has partnered with Controlled Demolition, Inc. of Phoenix Maryland as the implosion contractor. The team, which is dedicated to an-accident free workplace, is approaching 100,000 man-hours worked at this site without any lost-time injuries.

Chandler Demolition opted to demolish these structures by means of implosion instead of conventional methods in order to reduce the risk of accident and injury to workers and minimize the inconvenience to the general public and surrounding area.

Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was formed in early 2001 to establish the Memphis region as an internationally recognized center for biomedical technology. The Foundation focuses on building infrastructure, developing the workforce and promoting entrepreneurship.

Baptist Memorial Health Care donated its property in the Medical Center to the Foundation for the site of its research park, the focal point of the biomedical and economic development. The research park, which will include an incubation program to develop new businesses in biotechnology, will be the centerpiece of a larger biomedical research and development center that extends from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on the west to Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare on the east.

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To view Macromedia Flash Video and news coverage of this event go to: (Windows Media Video) View Implosion

Baptist Memorial Hospital Implosion
Baptist Memorial Hospital Implosion
Baptist Memorial Hospital Implosion
Baptist Memorial Hospital Implosion
Baptist Memorial Hospital East
Baptist Memorial Hospital East - New Facility
Baptist Memorial Hospital East
BMH East - Major Health Care Facility
Baptist Memorial Hospital
Baptist Memorial Hospital - Early 1900s
Baptist Memorial Hospital
Baptist Memorial Hospital - Early 1900s
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...and then, there are the naysayers: (naysayer n. - To oppose, deny, or take a pessimistic or negative view of:)

In 1912 the Titanic sank, Jung and Freud stopped speaking to each other, Tarzan was created, and a wooden roller coaster called the Zippin Pippin was designed and built by coaster mastermind John Miller in East End Park in Memphis Tennessee.

The wooden roller coaster was moved to it's present location at the Memphis Fairgrounds in 1923 (the Memphis Fairgrounds is a 130 year old institution). In the mid-seventies the Zippin Pippin was claimed by a theme park called Libertyland which has now fallen into the red and has closed due to lack of vision by all concerned. Now the Fairgrounds may move elsewhere outside the city.

Stax was rebuilt for 20 million dollars, American Sound studio is still a parking lot.  (note: this text changed by me: I disagree with source opinion that Beale Street is gone!) Beale Street is a vivacious and thriving tourist attraction.   Just a few months ago the historic Baptist Memorial Hospital was imploded. History falls everyday in Memphis but somehow the slums remain. When will Memphis stop tearing down it's history? Perhaps when the world knows that it is happening.
Reality check! History falls everyday, everywhere. It's called progress. Show me a city without slums and I will have viewed a phenomenon.
(Yet another of my personal observations.)
Partial Source:
(Opinions are analogous (unintentional pun) to a specific area of the human anatomy: we are all blessed with one!)

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