After 80 years, DeKalb to demolish water tower in Decatur

DeKalb County is expected to demolish the water tower bearing the Decatur logo in 2019.
DeKalb County is expected to demolish the water tower bearing the Decatur logo in 2019.

Credit: DeKalb County Government

Credit: DeKalb County Government

For about 80 years, the water tower bearing the Decatur logo hovered over residents and guests as they drove in to the city.

But by 2019, the tower will be no more.

DeKalb County plans to demolish the tower, created in1935 as a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal projects.

“At the present time, nothing is planned to go in this location,” DeKalb watershed spokeswoman Alicia Pennie told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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For the past 15 years, the tower has sat dormant. Once used to flow water to fire hydrants, the tower is now “at the end of its useful life,” Pennie said, citing its age and small size.

The tower can hold up to 500,000 gallons.

By comparison, Gwinnett County's iconic water towers built in 1968 and 1972, once held 2 million gallons of water. Those tanks, painted with the words "Gwinnett is Great" on one and "Success Lives Here" on the other, were taken down in 2010.

When it was in use, the county paid upwards of $300,000 to paint the tower every 15 to 20 years. It will cost $250,000 to tear it down.

The tower was built as part of Decatur Waterworks water system facility. The tower served the city for nearly 50 years before it was sold to DeKalb County, according to online historical records.

The county has been accepting bids to demolish the tower since at least July. Last week, the deadline for submissions to bid was extended to Dec. 6.

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