The Leaning Tower of Dallas – a “tourist attraction” building that refused to collapse

Posted by Derek Mason

7th July 2020

Photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash

For two short weeks earlier this year, the Leaning Tower of Pisa had some friendly competition, when an 11-storey Dallas tower refused to be demolished.

The former Affiliated Computer Services building became known as The Leaning Tower of Dallas, after a demolition company managed to take out the building’s exterior and leave the building’s core still standing, but at an angle.

This should have been a straightforward implosion, but although all of the explosives detonated, they only took out the building’s exterior. The core was left leaning to one side, rather than collapsing as planned.

It swiftly became a tourist attraction as locals shared memes and photographs of themselves in the foreground, appearing to hold up or kick the building, just as visitors to the Italian landmark in Pisa do.

While it was awaiting final demolition, the Legoland Discovery Centre nearby built a miniature version of the listing tower, and added it to their Dallas skyline. And a local resident started a tongue in cheek online petition to save the building and make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. His blurb included the line, “If anything, do it for the memes.”

All of this will have been embarrassing to the demolition company, although they appear to have a sense of humour about it. According to the New York Times, Lloyd D. Nabors – whose Dallas-based demolition company was in charge of the project – said that he would miss the camaraderie that had developed over the two weeks, but was eager to see the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development.

Eventually, after two weeks, a crane and wrecking ball arrived on site to complete the demolition of the 49-year-old building. So Pisa no longer has a rival.

Meanwhile, back on the ground in South West London and Surrey, if you need assistance with the structural elements of an upcoming project, please do get in touch.


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