ANDERSONVILLE — The Swedish American Museum has raised nearly $120,000 toward its $150,000 goal to restore its iconic water tower, which was taken down after a brutal winter in 2014.
The donations were needed "to re-create the landmark and restore it to our skyline" and the water tower designs are now in development. The last phase, which raised about $1,000, collected donations through display cans and is ending this month, according to backers' website.
The donation total was first reported by Edgeville Buzz.
Since the tank was removed, the museum had experts and engineers survey it. They determined the structure was at the end of its lifespan, so when it is restored it will no longer be a functioning water tower. Instead, it "will serve as a landmark for the area and act as link to our heritage and to the architectural history of our great city."
The tower's water tank — painted in the likeness of the Swedish flag with a blue background and yellow cross — sat atop the museum at 5211 N. Clark St. in a community with roots as a Swedish enclave, for nearly 90 years. It was removed in March 2014 after the winter caused severe damage to the tower and consultants advised it be removed.
At the time, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th), whose ward includes part of Andersonville, described it as "a treasured symbol of the Andersonville community."
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