Remains of Partially Imploded Building Dubbed ‘Leaning Tower of Dallas'

Building to be brought down this week using wrecking balls, other means

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After an implosion didn't go as planned on Sunday morning, the middle core of the former Affiliated Computer Services tower, which includes a pretty tough elevator shaft, remained standing with a bit of a lean Sunday night.

Some around Dallas-Fort Worth are calling the remaining structure "The Leaning Tower of Dallas." It's became a mini local tourist attraction with people posing for photos with the leaning tower from several blocks away.

The 7:45 a.m. implosion on Sunday was supposed to knock down the entire 11-story building to make way for a new development, but things did not go completely according to plan.

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As the building began to collapse Sunday morning, the middle core of the tower, which includes an elevator shaft, fell slightly, then leaned -- but stopped.

The demolition team said this sometimes happens with older buildings that have steel and concrete cores around elevator shafts.

People around Dallas-Fort Worth are calling the remaining structure from an implosion Sunday morning “The Leaning Tower of Dallas.” It became a mini local tourist attraction throughout the day.

“The majority of the building at 2828 N. Haskell was imploded with explosives this morning. In certain instances, especially in the case of older buildings with all concrete and steel core construction, the building core and elevator shafts require additional demolition measures, and we will proceed with conventional demolition efforts over the course of this coming week," a spokesperson for Lloyd D. Nabors Demolition said in a statement.

The company said it would use a crane and wrecking ball later this week as a way to remove what's left.

The spokesperson said what's left of the building was contained to the job site and did not pose a threat to nearby structures or pedestrians.

"This is the first one we’ve saw that it didn’t come all the way down because we took a video and we were looking at the video and Eddie was like, ‘Wow, look it’s still standing," said Marie Drolet, a bystander who watched the implosion with her husband. "We waited around for it thinking that maybe it would fall over, but it didn’t."

“It’s unfortunate and disappointing we didn’t get to the whole show,” said John Weber, a developer who attended an implosion watch party from a nearby rooftop.

The implosion of the former Affiliated Computer Services building at 2828 North Haskell Avenue, off North Central Expressway, did not go completely according to plan.
A view of the implosion of an 11-story tower at 2828 North Haskell Avenue in Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

Experts explained what happened.

“All the explosives did go off, and the structure — that type of construction with the central core and the outer columns — they’re tough obviously," said Pettigrew Incorporated President Steve Pettigrew. "We have equipment on standby. They’ll take it down today."

Developers determined they would use a high-reach excavator to bring the rest of the building down.

“The high-reach excavator has a cruncher on it. We’ll start crunching the core, from the backside. It should fall over into the parking lot,” said Nabors.

But the "cruncher" didn't do the trick and the core remained standing at sunset Sunday.

Once the building is brought down and the debris removed, De La Vega Development will turn the tower grounds and surrounding area into The Central, a 27-acre mixed-use project with space for offices and residences, as well as food, beverage and other services.

"The concrete and steel core elevator shaft that survived the demolition process this morning is a testament to same 'built to last' philosophy we will honor in our development of The Central. These remaining improvements and debris will be safely removed this week, and we will be well on our way to providing a next-generation development with incredible walkability, activated green spaces and a place for our community to work, live, connect, and recharge," Artemio De La Vega, president and CEO of De La Vega Development, said in a statement.

A rendering of The Central, the new 27-acre mixed use development that will be built in the area of the 11-story tower that was imploded Sunday. (Boka Powell)

Several roads were closed Sunday morning and rail and bus service was impacted for the implosion. Pedestrians and vehicles had limited access to the area around the building after the implosion.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit rail and bus services returned to normal operations by 10 a.m.

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