The end

As planned, they dynamited the Xcel High Bridge plant smokestack in St. Paul on Saturday morning (previous thoughts on this here). News Cut readers are sending images and video. Use this form to send images.

You know how I am by now, right? I like to turn the camera around and photograph the people photographing and watching. So if you’ve got one of those, feel free to send those along too.

Nathan Levine of St. Paul gets the award for being the first to send an image:


And Mark Jungmann, one of my colleagues, followed seconds behind with the first video:

It fell gracefully, almost beautifully. And in Mark’s video above, the little puff of smoke coming out of the stack just before it crashed seemed its way of saying, “so long.” That’s the way I prefer to look at it, anyway.

Teresa Boardman of St. Paul Real Estate blog fame, has sent a series…


“Oh The dust! People ran,” Teresa says.


“The earth trembled…”


.. and now they’ve got a mess to clean up.


From a different vantage point, Luke Albrecht says, “The shockwave was amazing from just across Shepard Road.”


Tracy Anderson of St. Paul took a series of images. Click on the image to see them in all of their implosive glory.


I’m getting some e-mailed links to posted video.

  • David Zuhn of St. Paul from the Smith Avenue High Bridge.
  • Todd Pittman with the view from Lilydale.
  • Noah Kunin’s two cameras. “During the second “take” there’s some interesting audience reaction in audio and in the foreground. High fives, someone woefully misjudging the size of the stack, etc.,” he says.
    • I got some shots too but not as nice as this one Kudos to Mark!

    • Sara Kimm

      My three-year-old son, Ethan, loved this smokestack. Every time he saw it, he would yell “Mama look! Mokestick!” When I saw your post that it was coming down, I told Ethan that they were going to “knock it over.” He was wide-eyed. I showed him the video and he said “Yay! Now they have to build another one!”

    • That was pretty wild. The bridge shook with the initial explosion, but man did everything shake when the smokestack hit the ground. Wow.

      I posted a video and some photos to my blog, though I’m sure others have better stuff.

    • Bob Collins

      I would disagree, Teresa. You are a wonderful photographer.

    • Jason Stamos

      “Nathan Levine of St. Paul gets the award for being the first to send an image:”

      Wow. It looks like Nathan Levine was in the right place. Amazing shot, what an perfect eye he has. I’m going to Google him right now…..

    • Another point of view from Todd Pittman:

    • Maybe my other comment got eaten (the previous one was edited..?)… my favorite video of the smokestack is from Nick Busse.

      (BC: Stuff with links are getting picked off at spam. I usually have to check the spam folder and fix)

    • Thanks Mark

    • Mac Wilson

      Noah Kunin’s videos are pretty fantastic. They’re the only ones that capture the sheer sound of this thing going down. In his second, the reaction shot basically sums it up. Even though we all knew we were far enough away (I was up on Cliff St), I think all of us recoiled a little bit when it started toppling our way! I also like the smoking teenagers who nonchalantly wander up in mid-tumble to take a look.

    • Bob Collins

      Mac: Noah is a professional videographer., I thought the amateur video and images showed real talent.

      What structure should we empty out and blow up next. I still vote for the Centennial Building.

    • steve

      geez, its just a dirty old smokestack.