The “Leaning Tower of Dallas” – an 11-story building that has been compared to the much more famous structure in Pisa, Italy - remained standing Tuesday morning despite crews' best efforts to implode the building and knock it down with wrecking balls.
The abandoned building, once home to Affiliated Computer Services, only leaned to the side after a Feb. 16 implosion failed to bring down most of its core, including the main elevator shaft.
Lloyd D. Nabors, whose company Lloyd D. Nabors Demolition managed the project, said the building tilted in the direction it was meant to fall, indicating there were no safety concerns. That company contracted another, Pettigrew Inc., to engineer the implosion and handle the explosives.
Pettigrew’s president, Steve Pettigrew, told the Dallas News that all the explosives did go off. He added that the type of building – with a solid concrete core and outer columns – proved more difficult to demolish.
Following the failed implosion, people flocked to the area over the course of the next week, snapping photos pretending to hold up the lopsided tower. It was marked for demolition to make way for a $2.5 billion mixed-use project called The Central, the Dallas News reported.
Efforts to take down the building resumed Monday. Beginning at 9 a.m., crews began battering the building with wrecking balls, drawing a small crowd of onlookers. Despite enduring hundreds of blows, its main core remained intact three hours later.
“They’re taking the wrecking ball and hitting the side of it over and over again, and it’s still just ineffective," Shawn Graybill, a 24-year-old who lives nearby and came out in his pajamas to watch the demolition Monday, told the Associated Press. “It's not knocking the tower down.”
A statement issued Friday by De La Vega Development suggested the demolition would be done by noon Monday. As the effort to topple the structure stretched into the late afternoon, people began to take another genre of photo — pretending to push the tower over rather than prop it up, the AP reported. The core of the tower, including the elevator shafts, was still standing as of Tuesday morning.
Missy Wyszynski, the group’s spokeswoman, said the process is expected to take up to four days. The wrecking crew is using a 5,600-pound ball and following “standard procedure” in starting at the top of the structure and working down, she added.
As demolition work took place, an online petition to “save this landmark from destruction” continued to draw signatures. Graybill said he hasn't signed but plans to if the tower doesn't tumble soon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.