Watch demolition of historic Marshall Hotel in downtown Sacramento
The Marshall Hotel started falling apart Tuesday night, and authorities sounded the least bit surprised.
Yet the noises coming from inside the century-old building at 7th and L streets – as planned – prompted police and fire crews to halt traffic on two downtown streets overnight. Lanes around the building that shoulders Golden 1 Center re-opened just after 7 a.m.
The loud booms and crackles at the brick-facade building started around 7:30 p.m., hours after contractors renovating the building finished cutting the wood interior floors loose from the reinforced exterior, according to fire officials. The plan was for the floors to ease tension and slowly break away before crews planned to remove them over the coming days, said Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Capt. Keith Wade.
“The interior of this building is a planned demolition – it had been planned for some time.” he said. “The demolition is doing what it’s intended to do.”
It just may have happened a little sooner than everyone had hoped, prompting a wave of calls to 911.
“The demolition is proceeding a little more aggressive than intended.”
Wade said the contractors’ steel “exoskeleton,” reinforced scaffolding to hold the structure up, was doing its job and that there was no danger to the public. Still, out an abundance of caution, officials closed the streets around 9 p.m.
“The noise that’s been generating 911 calls had the fire department decide to come out,” Wade said. “Though they’re not expecting any sort of imminent collapse of the exterior of the building, we decided to shut down the streets.”
The run-down former hotel sits adjacent to Golden 1 Center, and stood over one of downtown’s seediest intersections before the arena was opened in 2016.
Construction to remake the hotel into an 11-story boutique Hyatt Centric Hotel started in October, as The Sacramento Bee previously reported. The city loaned private developers $4 million in 2018 to help get the $68 million project launched after several years in limbo. The new 172-room hotel, with an elevated outdoor lounge, is expected to open in by the end of 2020.
Opened in 1911 as the the upscale Hotel Clayton, the site was a key music venue as well during downtown Sacramento’s jazz era from the 1920s to 1950s. The building faded though, along with the neighborhood, in the 1960s and eventually became home to parolees, formerly homeless, and reportedly at least one notorious character, the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski in 1993, before finally closing its doors in 2015.
The Sacramento Bee chronicled the hotel’s final days, telling the stories of the tenants who were moved to make way for the new venture.