The end of an icon came today. Warren Hall on the Cal State East Bay Hayward campus wasn’t a great building, but it was a tall one–13 stories–and the focal point of the Hayward campus. Today, at 9 a.m., it came down exactly as planned.
Over the last months, those of us working on the campus watched as workers de-constructed the building, abating it of asbestos and other no-longer acceptable chemicals, taking down the bridge that connected Warren Hall to the library on two floors (I used to have an office on that bridge), placing explosives, and putting the building and adjacent buildings “under wraps.”
The USGS placed sensors around the Hayward Fault, which is only 2,000 feet from the building, preparatory to gathering data that will help us to understand the exact placement of the fault and other key data about what will happen when “the big one” comes.
It’s all been very exciting and I expect to feel quite strange as I go back to campus next week and see a 30 foot high pile of rubble instead of a looming building that dominated our lives for many years (the building went up in 1971).
Some feel quite nostalgic about the building, but I feel relieved. As the most seismically dangerous building in the CSU, a huge risk if an earthquake had come when it was under de-construction, and a scary place every time it shuddered, it’s good that it’s gone.