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‘Leaning Tower Of Dallas’ Goes Viral — And Inspires Local Artists


by Rebekah Morr 19 Feb 2020

The planned implosion of Dallas’ former Affiliated Computer Services building failed, leaving the center of the structure still standing — and leaning.

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Just north of downtown Dallas, a building that was supposed to be a pile of rubble has become  a social media sensation.

The former Affiliated Computer Services building was imploded over the weekend, but a large chunk of it is still standing — and leaning.

former Affiliated Computer Services building

The building is being cleared to make way for a new $2.5 billion development with offices, a hotel and retail space. / Photo: Rebekah Morr

In recent days, the half-wrecked site  has been a tourist attraction, with visitors snapping selfies.

For North Texans with an artist’s eye, even an implosion-gone-wrong has become something beautiful.

Jerrel Sustaita set up a makeshift studio on Haskell Avenue to paint what’s been dubbed the “leaning tower of Dallas.” Bent over a canvas smeared with green and grey paint, he explained what brought him out to the site.

“This was a painting that wasn’t going anywhere, it was like a mistake,” he said of the canvas he brought along. “So I thought I’d make a painting of this other mistake on this mistake. We’re just going to make art out of it.”

With his smartphone camera aimed at his creation, Sustaita also filmed his hands on the canvas as they re-created the building in front of him. He shared the video on Facebook Live.

Jerrel Sustaita with his painting

Jerrel Sustaita’s painting inspired by the “Leaning Tower of Dallas” / Photo: Rebekah Morr

Nearby, Ron Johnson was holding two cameras over his head to get a 3D image of the building.

He enjoys capturing demolitions as they happen, and said it’s no surprise this building’s getting so much attention — it’s the only one he’s ever seen that’s still standing after an implosion.

“It looks so unusual,” he said. “Even with all our modern technology, sometimes things go wrong.”

A crane and wrecking ball will finish what the explosives started. The rest of the building should be torn down in the coming days.

Photographer Ralph Johnson said until then, it’s great to see the community coming together — even if it’s just for a good photo-op.

“I think we’re always looking for something good or unusual,”he said. We have so much bad news in the world nowadays, when we see something like this people can rally around it.”

Dallas Morning News video of the failed implosion.

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