Edgeville Buzz

Andersonville Water Tower Fund’s Goal Almost Reached, Design Plans In Development

The quest to place a replica of Andersonville’s treasured water tower tank where the original tank once stood — on the roof of the Swedish American Museum — is now more than half full.

Nearly $120,000 has been donated toward the $150,000 target to design, build and place the replica of the original 16-foot-tall water tower tank on top of the museum, according to Lesli Proffitt Nordstrom, the museum’s marketing and development manager.

The original water tower tank held 20,000 gallons of water. With its blue background and yellow cross, the tank was painted in the likeness of the Swedish flag

“We are still developing design plans and working with the city to obtain the necessary permits as we move forward in this monumental and exciting task to bring back the water tower to our skyline,” Nordstrom wrote in an email to the Edgeville Buzz.

According to the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s website, the water tower tank was removed from the roof of the museum on March 20, 2014, after it sustained damage as a result of an extremely harsh winter.

Originally erected in 1927, the tower was a fully functional water tower that provided water to the Swedish American Museum’s fire suppression system until the difficult winter of 2014 damaged it beyond repair, the museum said on its website.

“A thick layer of ice cracked the tank’s base, allowing water to begin to leak into the museum,” the website said. “This damage occurred in spite of the museum following best practices in maintaining the water tower tank and completing restorative work only a few years prior. It is important to note that the wood and iron-made water towers from this time period have been estimated to have a lifespan between 50 and 100 years.”

Initial plans were to repair the water tank. But several experts and engineers advised the museum to create a replica of the original tank instead. They said the original structure had reached the end of its lifetime.

“Our efforts remain dedicated to restoring the Andersonville Water Tower landmark, but the structure itself will need to be new while maintaining the form and spirit of the original tank,” the museum’s website said.

Collection cans throughout the neighborhood helped raise more than $1,000 toward the cause. That collection can drive is drawing to a close, and Nordstrom is asking those who have the cans to return them to the museum by the end of September.

The fundraising drive is now in its final phase, she said.

“Thank you again for your support and for contributing to the great community spirit we have here in Andersonville,” Nordstrom said.

For more information, or to donate, visit here.

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