Tip the Zip, 15 years later

Local News

SIOUX FALLS (KELO) — 15 years ago Thursday, a demolition project in downtown Sioux Falls didn’t quite measure up for the tallest building in Sioux Falls at the time. The planned implosion of the Zip Feed tower drew a large crowd to see the event in-person and a live audience watching on KELOLAND News. We look back on that day when Zip Feed emerged from the blast still standing, although a little tilted.

It was the boom that went bust. The failure of the Zip Feed tower to collapse-in on itself came as a disappointment to the crowds of people who gathered in the snow to watch.

“We’ve been here since 11 today, sitting here waiting and I just wish they knew what they were doing a little better,” a Zip Feed spectator said on December 3rd, 2005.

“15 years ago, we can hardly believe it,” Ann Haber said.

Ann Haber and her dad Jeff Scherschligt co-developed Cherapa Place in downtown Sioux Falls.

“So, before we could build this building, we needed to get rid of the big old feed mill that sat here however many years,” Haber said.

But that was easier said than done. The lower part of Zip Feed dropped into the basement from the blast and tilted to the side, giving Sioux Falls its own leaning tower. The longtime vacant building, essentially a high-rise pigeon roost, proved to be more resilient than some people expected.

“Maybe it was a little underestimated on how strong that building really was, which I’m sure the people who worked at the Zip Feed Mill are really happy and proud of that,” Haber said.

The Zip Feed tower lives on 15 years after that ill-fated implosion. A demolition crew later tore down the building. Its concrete was crushed and now serves as the base for the parking lot of Cherapa Place.

“So it’s underneath all of this concrete, all of this dirt, lives the Zip Feed Mill. It’s still here! We remember it fondly,” Haber said.

Haber also sold $1 tickets for the chance to be the person to push the button that would implode the Zip Feed tower. The money from ticket sales went to the MS Society.

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