Great Engineering Incidentally Creates “Leaning Tower of Dallas”

By: Marie McCarthy

Engineers are tasked with designing structures that can stand the test of time. One of Texas engineer Thomas Taylor’s projects has not only withstood time, but also 300 pounds of dynamite, wrecking balls, wind and more. Crews tried to implode Taylor’s Southland Corporation Office Tower earlier this year. The result was a new tourist attraction in the Lone Star State: The Leaning Tower of Dallas.

A failed tear-down effort made the 11-story building tilt, a-la the Leaning Tower of Pisa. For weeks, tourists and locals alike flooded the space nearby for pictures of themselves “holding up” the structure built in the 1970’s.

Dallas’ WFAA news caught up with the building’s designer, engineer Thomas Taylor, in February. He says the building has become an inside joke in town, but he’s proud of the strong building he created. “Nobody ever told me to make it easy to demolish,” said Taylor. “That’s what we’re supposed to do, is build strong buildings.”

Crews later tried to go back to the building and knock it down with a wrecking ball, but high wind prevented a safe execution. In the meantime, workers deployed a crane to chip away at the inner core that was still standing. For weeks, WFAA and other news stations had a live camera on the building for gawkers to witness it’s slow crumbling. The building even had its own Instagram. There are more than 3,700 posts on the platform using the #LeaningTowerofDallas tag.

Finally, on March 2, 2020, demolition crews at Lloyd D. Nabors used a 5,600 pound wrecking ball to finally bring the building to its knees.