CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD)- All that remains of the 87-year-old Mount Pleasant Water Tower are a few pieces of metal.
The demolition of the local landmark started at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday and is scheduled to be finished by the evening.
Residents of the Old Village looked on as the tower was taken down bit by bit.
Damon Fordham, a local historian, says the tower reminds him of his childhood.
“Behind that water tower was where my father taught me how to fly a kite back in 1970 when I was five-years-old and then a few years after that I learned how to ride a bike behind this,” said Fordham.
West Law remembers walking past the tower when he went to Moultrie Middle School.
“I always [saw] it when I was walking to school, going to a friends house, out in the harbor,” said Law.
Sparky Witte shared a unique story about the tower. He climbed the tower with his friends when they were kids and made sure everyone knew about it.
“We had this bright idea that we were going to paint our names in big black letters, the tower was white at the time,” said Witte.
After leaving their marks on the tower, Witte said that he and his friends worried they would be arrested. They never were.
Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Gary Santos thinks that the demolition could have been avoided if the tower was better maintained.
“You know if you don’t maintain your car it’s gonna break down, well it’s the same thing with towers. You don’t maintain it with the salt air and the salt water around here it’s gonna rust and I think that’s what happened,” said Santos.
Mount Pleasant Waterworks says that the tower had to be taken down because it was deemed unsafe.
Allan Clum, the General Manger of Mount Pleasant Waterworks, says that they did not want the tower to come down on its own, endangering people’s safety.
The iconic tower that has been serving the town for decades will be put to use once again, even after its demolition. It will be made into an artificial reef by the Department of Natural Resources.
In the spot where the tower once stood, Clum confirmed that “there will be a monument… We’re not certain what that will look like… But there’s an old pump house along with pieces of the tank that we will do something with on site.”