Acme Brick celebrated the company’s 124th birthday on April 17, 2015 by toppling more than 4,000 brick at the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
Most “topples” are built with dominos, but this installation used real Acme Brick: solid paving brick from Acme’s Tulsa, Okla., plant, as well as several hundred specialty brick from other Acme plants.
The display was designed and executed by Domino Dan Beckerleg, a master “toppler” who has produced similar events for other major corporations. Beckerleg traveled to Fort Worth, Texas from his home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and labored for two days to construct his design in the 1,500-square-foot Central Plaza of Fort Worth’s famed Water Gardens. “It’s been a challenge to scale up from dominos to Acme bricks, but it’s been fun and definitely a learning experience,” said Beckerleg. “For one thing, dropping a brick on your toe is a much different experience than dropping a domino.”
If not the longest, this was surely one of Dan’s heaviest topples with the 4,300 bricks weighing in at 15,518 pounds (seven and a half tons). The actual topple only took about four minutes.
Just prior to the topple, Acme Brick Company President and CEO Dennis Knautz shared some thoughts about the event and put Acme’s 124 years into perspective. Knautz commented, “What better place to celebrate Acme Brick Company’s 124th birthday than in Fort Worth’s Water Gardens surrounded by historic Acme buildings like the former Texas And Pacific Headquarters and Terminal just two blocks away? This wonderful Art Deco structure from 1931 has been repurposed into luxury condominiums. I think the Acme Perla brick look great considering they will be 85 years old this October. We should all be that lucky.”
The Fort Worth Water Gardens is a 4.3-acre urban park designed by architect Philip Johnson and dedicated in 1974. It is in the south end of downtown Fort Worth, bounded by Lancaster Avenue, Houston Street, the Fort Worth Convention Center, and Commerce Street.