GARWOOD -- Garwood’s North Avenue water tower, a borough landmark built in 1900, will be demolished next week because of complaints about its decaying appearance and concerns about safety.
“It’s an eyesore,” Garwood Mayor Dennis McCarthy, said at a borough council meeting on Tuesday. “We approached the owners and said ‘paint it or take it down.’ Obviously, it was cheaper to tear it down rather than fix it up.”
The 100-feet-high tower sits on the Garwood Paperboard site, a paper manufacturer and supplier that has largely ceased operations. The land at 93 North Ave. was originally owned by piano and player organ manufacturer Aeolian Company. The tower never served the town’s residents, but held water in case the factory below caught fire.
“There’s no way to preserve it, because that would be another expense to taxpayers,” said Christina Ariemma, borough clerk for Garwood. “It has rusted a lot.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Garwood police will have two officers stationed to stop traffic as needed on a two block section of North Avenue between Cedar Street and Anchor Place. The demolition is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m., according to Garwood Police Chief William Legg.
“It (North Avenue) shouldn’t be closed more than 10 minutes,” Legg said. “We will be stopping traffic when they take down sections of the tower.”
Legg said the tower will be taken down in four or five sections, weather permitting.
The water tower’s demolition has been in the works for several months but the plan required waiting for permits to close North Avenue, according to Richard Kozel, a lawyer representing Garwood Paperboard.
Kozel would not say how much the demolition will cost the owners.
“It’s an old tower and it’s not worth maintaining anymore,” Kozel said. “We want to be a good neighbor to Garwood.”