You Can Watch the Macy’s Implosion, But You Can’t Stand Here

Note: Story updated below. And read more here.

Here’s a map from the city showing which streets will be closed Downtown this Sunday morning for the controlled demolition of the 10-story, 791,000-sq.-ft. former Foley’s and Macy’s. Unfortunately, the closures appear to hinder access to the best views of the falling 1947 Kenneth Franzheim-designed shopping box. In fact, the Houston Chronicle cites a fire department press release that might frustrate any interested parties: “[T]here will be no ‘safe viewing site lines’ to observe the implosion.”


Still, a lively discussion about this topic is happening on HAIF, whose users are posting photos of the Macy’s “death mask” (above) and scheming about alternative site lines.

Below: Another photo of the Travis St. side, threaded by cables that are meant to help the thing fall inward.

Swamplot previously reported that the implosion would happen at 6:10 a.m. on Sunday; other reports have it beginning closer to 7:10, or “10 minutes after sunrise.” We’ll update this story when we have more information.

Update: 2:15 p.m., Friday: A rep from Metro confirms that the demo will begin between 7:10 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. Sunday.

Images: City of Houston (map); HAIF user Nate99 (photos)

13 Comment



  • Really sad to this building go, how weird it will be to have the parade go by an empty lot where the hulking Foley’s/Macy’ once stood, I guess Santa will get out and sit on the empty lot or wave at the big hole in the ground that once was Houston’s grand department store.

  • The Thanksgiving parade hasn’t gone down Main Street for several years now. NO parade has used that route!

  • I’m aware, with the Metro rail it’s no longer going down main, I was making a nostalgic reference and about who sponsored the parade and watching it live as a kid, I guess I needed to be more literal, but thanks maybe rig will stop the 100 comments coming making your exact literal point, but I doubt it, sigh*

  • @Damian, I can tell you for a fact that one of those parking garages (the one just south of HPD HQ) will be off limits. Probably due to liability/insurance I imagine. Even if it were open the view from there is very poor.

  • Ah, who knew that WASP had the soul of a poet?

    Standing on a corner just outside the perimeter, it might be possible to see a corner go down. And definitely hear the very loud noise. Still might be worth a trip downtown…..

  • Will the Houston Pavillion’s parking lot be open? Or could I walk over there and up the garage to view it?

  • Total BS not letting people watch. GRRR

  • You can watch. You just can’t watch within distance of possible flying debris. And there are all those other buildings in the way. So all you’ll be able to see is a corner from a couple of blocks away.

    Was Foley’s built with demolition in mind? It might not just settle down nately into its footprint. These guys are pros but know it could get messy. You or your survivors could sue….

    Best bet–have a high-rise office view. But you already need to be working there. Even on a regular Sunday, the security guards cast a cold eye on folks saying “we just want to go up & see if any offices with nice views are unlocked.”

  • The story of modern America – fun has been cancelled for liability purposes.

  • @ Maggie Mae, you seem to take little too much delight in shooting down everyones plans to not take this particular group of city officials too literally. Do you get a thrill out of dashing peoples plans to try anyway. I’ll bet you actually like the way the mayor has the lights timed so we must stop at EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT we come upon. Unless of course we drive 55-60 in a 30-35mph zone, but I digress. Well, I for one am giving it a try anyway. There are always ways to do things if you don’t have a closed mind. TaTa.

  • I worked downtown for 17 yrs and would always shop at downtown Foley’s/Macy’s on my lunch break. In 2012 I retired and within a few months my co workers gave me a call to let me know downtown Macy’s would be closing down. Now today is my birthday and I’ll be back downtown in the Shell bldg watching my past with Downtown Macy’s go up in smoke!!

  • Did it happen? I mean implode? We spent a week in the
    Marriot the last week of August..wanted to know if it’s gone? We’re from Minnesota.