Obviously, last night's events have been all over the news and the Web today. Among the most interesting was this video by Dentonite Christopher Largen; he started filming a few days ago when the buildings were being gutted and prepared for demolition, but it took on a whole new meaning when the Tomato was set ablaze:
The Burning of Fry Street
(This is a MySpace video, and it uses their player, so I can't embed it here like I did the YouTube one from last night. I don't think you have to be a MySpace member to view it.)
Christopher noted in a repost at the Save Fry Street MySpace that he was hoping to make his many hours of footage into a professional documentary. It's long, but worth your time if you're a Tomato fan. (And yes, the rough language alert applies here too--no surprise, considering the emotions involved.)
Also, check out the updated story from the Denton Record-Chronicle, with links to more amateur video. The North Texas Daily (a paper for which I wrote a few articles as a college student) also has quite a few good posts on the subject. And of course, the two most recent posts at the Save Fry Street site have some good pictures, as well as a press release stating the group's dismay at last night's events. (Check out the fourth picture from the top, where the fire melted paint on the bricks and caused the lettering of a long-ago tenant of the spot to reappear.)
Emotions are also running high in the comments to the Save Fry Street post, where a couple of people place the blame for everything on the new owners, United Equities--one going so far as to suspect that the fire was an inside job, done to save demolition money and avoid the long protests that would have ensued had the building been taken down brick-by-brick. As much as I dislike what UE has done to this historical district, I don't know if I can buy into that story or not, but the company definitely deserves some of the blame for failing to secure the area more than it did.
UPDATE: Here's one more DRC story about the demolition that took place in the aftermath of the fire.
It's been quite a week up there. No matter what, my next trip to Denton will take me by the intersection of Hickory and Fry, and the metaphorical hole in my heart will likely be as big as the actual hole that has now been placed at that corner with today's leveling of the rest of the buildings.
Two cool things I found out while surfing the Denton sites today:
1) UNT's tuition is still going up, but not as much as was previously expected. (Yes, I've been out of school for a while now, but there are plenty of alumni of my teaching studio headed to Denton in the fall, so they'll benefit from this.)
2) There's been a new albino squirrel spotted on campus recently. (The previous one was mentioned here.)