The “Leaning Tower of Dallas” endures.
The accidental landmark that has become a social media phenomenon will remain standing for days, and maybe weeks, as crews continue their work to bring it down, the demolition company laboring on the building said.
After the former Affiliated Computer Services building was imploded with explosives on Feb. 16, the core of the 11-story tower survived, leaning to one side.
Photos and videos of the lopsided structure went viral, and people nicknamed it the Leaning Tower of Dallas. People have taken to posing for photographs in which they pretended to be holding it up, much as tourists do with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
More than 1,500 people have signed a petition to save the structure by having UNESCO add it to its list of World Heritage Sites.
On Monday, the Lloyd D. Nabors Demolition team, which initially imploded the building with explosives, began “a multistep process that is both safe and effective,” using a large crane and wrecking ball to topple the tower.
Crews are chipping away at the top of the building until it reaches “an acceptable height for a high-reach excavator, equipped with a hydraulic hammer to conclude the work,” the demolition company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This may take several days, or weeks, and only the building will determine how many days it will take to safely complete the project,” the company said.
Local journalists, observers and admirers of the building have taken to social media to poke fun at the slow-moving process. Some fixated on the size of the wrecking ball; it is about 3.5 feet tall and weighs 5,600 pounds, and it looks tiny in photos and videos as it swings into the building.
“Everything is big in Texas … except wrecking balls,’’ one Twitter user noted.
One Dallas journalist compared the wrecking ball to the one from a 2013 Miley Cyrus music video, writing that he was pretty sure that the singer “had a larger wrecking ball for her music video than the one being used to take down the #LeaningTowerOfDallas.”
Another shared a photo of a man holding a sign that read, “Use a Bigger Ball,” with the building in the background and the caption, “He’s saying what we are all thinking.”
The story of the city’s latest star attraction also inspired the Legoland Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth to recreate the tower for Miniland, the center’s replica of the Dallas and Fort Worth skylines. The center has been slowly demolishing its mini tower with a mini crane and wrecking ball.
Matthew Graham, a Legoland master model builder assistant, built the tower last Thursday. “Earlier that day I was just thinking about how many people were talking about this leaning tower, and so many people were going out there to take pictures of them attempting to hold it up,” he said. “And so I thought it would be really fun to build it and recreate it for our Miniland.”
At least two new Twitter accounts have been inspired by the tower. One was suspended this week. The other, called @leaningtower, still stands, teasing followers to “see what will become of me.”
The demolition company is tearing down the building to make way for a 27-acre mixed-use project with residential and office high-rises, hotels, restaurants and a park.