On December 3, 2005 workers unsuccessfully attempted to implode the 50-year old Zip Feed Mill tower in downtown Sioux Falls, a structure 202 feet tall. Unfortunately, the blast did not produce the desired effect. The concrete tower fell into its own basement, leaning to one side but still upright, much to the dismay of those footing the bill for the demolition as well as the stunned thousands who gathered that morning.
The event became a national news story, the failed demolition played and replayed on news reports around the world. South Dakotans simply chuckled and shook their heads, as though this sort of thing happened all the time. Every day, thousands of people gathered and stared, as though their gaze could finish the job.
There it stood for two weeks, until it was ultimately dismantled. Cherapa Place office tower now stands in its place.
Jeff Scherschligt, property developer, sold $1 raffle tickets (aka BOOM tickets) in the build-up to the explosion. The winner received the opportunity to “push the plunger” that would blow up the building and bring it down. Proceeds of the raffle, which raised almost $150,000, were directed to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Artist Shaine Schroeder of Sioux Falls was commissioned by Scratchpad Tees in 2016 to commemorate this bizarre and unique event with a drawing of the leaning tower. In keeping with the spirit of the original event, $5 from the sale of this T-shirt will also be directed to the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. Thank you for your purchase.
The shirt is available in Heather Tan, Deep Heather and True Royal Heather in sizes Small to 2XL. Blended fabric shirt by Bella+Canvas is lightweight, comfortable and quality controlled to stand the test of time, maybe longer than your memories of this event.