Eliot Residence Hall to come down June 21

It’s not one of the older buildings on the Hilltop Campus, but Eliot Residence Hall is being destroyed because it’s not feasible to remodel the building to conform with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Also, the new building will offer a greater sense of community for the students.

Eliot hall is scheduled for implosion on June 21.
Eliot Residence Hall as it appeared in 1965. It will be imploded at 10 a.m. June 21. – WUSTL archives

Eliot Residence Hall will be imploded at 10 a.m. June 21. A new residential hall will be built in the same place as part of the residential college and will retain the Eliot name.

Environmental concerns will be taken care of before the implosion, including the removal of any potentially hazardous materials.

“(Implosion) is the safest way to remove this type of structure, based on its size, location and building composition,” said Eric J. Spirtas, president of Spirtas Wrecking Co., which is doing the implosion. “This procedure will minimize interuption to campus and local activities.”

To assist in the process, all vehicles must vacate Lien Parking Garage by 5 p.m. June 20. Remaining vehicles will be relocated. The garage will re-open for parking June 23.

Big Bend Boulevard will be closed between Forsyth Boulevard and Wydown Boulevard from about 9 a.m.-noon June 21. Buildings and rooftops in the immediate area will be off-limits, although public viewing of the implosion may take place north of the fence along the athletic practice field on Forsyth.

No parking will be allowed on Big Bend or Forsyth; those wishing to view the implosion should park in the Athletic Complex parking lot.

St. Louis-based Spirtas Wrecking Co., which imploded the St. Louis Arena, took control of Eliot June 3 to prepare it for implosion, including drilling and weakening the floors and supports. There will be no further access to the building without specific written permit.

The 73,208-square-foot Eliot Residence Hall was built in 1963 with 12 floors and a penthouse. It is named for the late Thomas H. Eliot, who came to the University in 1952 as chair of the political science department in Arts & Sciences. Later, he also taught in the School of Law. A distant relative of William Greenleaf Eliot, the University’s co-founder, he served as chancellor from 1962-1971.