ANDERSONVILLE — The Swedish American Museum said there's hope for Andersonville's beloved water tower and is asking for the neighborhood's help to repair the structure and return it to its perch above Clark Street on the museum's roof.
The museum, 5211 N. Clark St., posted a statement on its website Thursday as the structure was being removed, saying it hopes to restore the tank. The statement also announced a fundraising campaign: anybody who wants to help can donate to the museums "Water Tower Fund."
Groupon also got in on the tank-saving action Friday, with a deal asking for donations to save the tank or create a new Swedish-inspired landmark. The deal notes that "in the past, similar projects have cost upwards of $200,000."
The tank was wrapped in cords and lowered from the roof via a crane Thursday evening, then loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken around the corner to the museum's parking lot at Ashland and Foster avenues. It had been deemed unsafe after a frigid winter froze the water inside.
The contractors who removed the tank estimated Thursday that there was between 11,000 and 17,000 pounds of ice in the tank, some of which they were able to melt using salt.
The director of the museum, Karin Abercrombie, called Thursday, which was the first day of spring, "a sad day."
But she also told a crowd of reporters she was grateful the removal process was done safely, and was upbeat about the water tank's fate now that it's on the ground.
"We can now start working on it again," said Abercrombie, who earlier in the week said she wasn't sure if repairing the tank was in the museum's plans.
Now, the tower will be assessed, and the museum will work with Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) and city officials to determine if the tank can return to its perch, "or if we have to create something different," according to Abercrombie.
"But we clearly want to have something similar to what the water tower tank has been as a symbol, both for the museum and for the neighborhood," she said.
Darryl Holliday contributed to this report.