As implosion day approaches, some Frankfort residents still may be searching for the best spots to watch the Capital Plaza Tower come down.
With a 700-foot “exclusion zone” set up on all sides of the tower on its final day, identifying a suitable vantage point for the tower, let alone for the official ceremonies, is no easy task.
On Sunday, both Fort Hill and River View parks will be closed, as will all streets adjacent to the exclusion zone at various times throughout the morning and afternoon of the implosion. Those streets include Mero Street from Wilkinson Boulevard to Ann Street and Lewis Street from Clinton to Mero starting at 9 a.m. Starting at 12:30 p.m., Clinton Street from Wilkinson to Ann Street and the West Frankfort Connector bridges from Wilkinson to Taylor Avenue will be closed.
The tower will be imploded at 1:30 p.m., half an hour after scheduled remarks by Gov. Matt Bevin, Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum and Craig Turner, founder and CEO of CRM, the project’s private developer, Finance Cabinet spokeswoman Pamela Trautner told The State Journal. Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells and Mayor Bill May will join these officials on a stage behind the YMCA and Watts Federal Building.
In advance of the implosion, The State Journal has identified five of the best, legally accessible locations to get readers close to the action:
1. Watts Federal Building
The best seats will likely be on the deck behind the Watts Federal Building. Access will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 9 a.m. on implosion day, Trautner said. Due to weight restrictions, the number of people allowed on the deck will be limited to about 350. A similar deck behind the YMCA will be limited to media and official guests only.
2. Old Capitol Grounds
The grounds of the Old Capitol adjacent to the Watts Federal Building deck afford a relatively unobstructed view of the Capital Plaza Tower as well. Any crowd that forms will likely spill over onto the grounds.
3. Kentucky Avenue
Those willing to skip the governor’s remarks may want to stake out a spot along Kentucky Avenue. Parking is sparse, but views across the Kentucky River live up to the translation of the Bellepoint neighborhood’s French name: “beautiful spot.”
4. Under the Bridges
The West Frankfort Connector bridges will be closed to car and foot traffic during the implosion, but the park beneath them on the west side will remain open. Parking again is sparse, but at least the park comes complete with its own public benches.
5. State Office Building
Those interested in hosting a tailgate party might consider the parking lot of the State Office Building. The lot has a relatively unobstructed view down Mero Street.
Honorable Mention: Cable 10
The demolition will also be broadcast live on Frankfort Plant Board cable channels 10 and 510 (HD) as well as the on FPB Facebook page.