ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Hundreds of people have pleaded on social media to save a historic water tower in St. Charles.
Built in 1883, the Lindenwood Water Tower is a landmark and great memory for people who have cried out on Facebook to save it.
St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer said they’ve tried.
“This goes back 20 years. It was refurbished in 2008. It cost about $60,000 and that was basically putting lipstick on a pig,” he said.
A recent engineering report shows missing mortar at the base, loose bricks on both the outside and inside the base of the water tower.
Lindenwood University President Dr. John R. Porter said they had to put a fence around it in 2016 when bricks began falling off.
“It’s so bad – it’s constructed with deteriorating unreinforced mortar, if you look at this masonry,” he said. “There’s nothing holding this together.”
Mayor Borgmeyer agreed.
“It’s not just about refurbishing it. We’ll have to take it all the way to the ground and rebuild it all the way back. And I think a million dollars is probably a conservative estimate,” he said. “So that’s kind of the situation. It’s unfortunate. It’s sad. A lot of people are upset about it. A lot of people are demanding action, but the time for action was six months – or six years ago!”
The mayor said pleas to save the water tower could not come at a worse time.
“I thought we’d be down $5 million and it’s more like $8 million plus. The casino’s closed. We’re losing a million dollars on Main Street,” Borgmeyer said. “I can’t go to the taxpayers and say look you’re down $8 million and I’m going to raise your taxes to save the water tower. Everything is coming at the wrong time.”
The mayor said they do have some ideas on how to save portions of the water tower, if they can get financial support from the public or from a fundraiser, but there’s not much time.
Lindenwood said it also has a plan to construct a monument with some of the original materials so people could safely walk all the way up to it and learn about its history.