LifeWay’s Draper Tower turned to rubble as downtown Nashville continues to see growth and change

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The city said goodbye to LifeWay’s Draper Tower during the implosion of the 12-story building this past Saturday.
Draper Tower was the former headquarters for LifeWay, one of the world’s largest providers of religious and Christian resources.

The building that once stood as an iconic part of the city’s skyline, and was recognized by the two large crosses that stretched the height of the structure, came down in a booming rumble Jan. 6, at 9:30 a.m.

“I remember watching that building going up when I was younger, so I just felt that it is important to see how the city changes and evolves,” says Nashville resident and implosion onlooker, Whitney Hulette. “The concussive echoes of the initial charges were loud; much like (a) fireworks show on the 4th”.

680 pounds of explosives were used during the demolition.

It took only seconds from the point of detonation until Draper Tower was reduced to a pile of rubble and dust.

“As the building itself fell we could feel the rumble as it went,” says Hulette. “The sheer power of the explosions being able to drop such a massive structure is both humbling, fascinating and terrifying”.

Hulette said that after the implosion, he witnessed a ginormous dust cloud, as it slowly engulfed its way up Broadway.

“It actually had dust falling like snow all the way by the Vanderbilt campus, says Hulette.

Director of Corporate Communications, Carol Pipes, at LifeWay says that despite the many years of memories associated with the building, the company’s purpose is bigger than the building could ever have been.

“LifeWay’s mission is far greater than its buildings,” says Pipes. “As we remember and honor our past, we look forward (to) the future with renewed vision and commitment to the mission that drives our work – providing biblical solutions for life”.

The LifeWay Christian Resources campus sold to Southwest Value Partners, a private real estate investment firm in 2015.

The company moved to its new headquarters inside the Capitol View development back in Nov.

The building, which was located at 117 10th Ave. N, took its last stand to make way for what will become Nashville Yards, a 15-acre mixed-use development.

The Nashville Yard’s website states the development will extend from Broadway on the south to north of Church Street, and describes it as “the next generation of urban development in this enduringly forward-thinking and creative dream of a city”.

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A groundbreaking ceremony for the development was held prior to the implosion. Nashville Yards will include office, retail, and living space, as well as a Hyatt Regency hotel, and entertainment venues.

Additional information about the development can be found at the Nashville Yards website: http://nashvilleyards .com/

Gloria Ruth Finney
Contributor to The News