Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Anniversary: Garwood's 'Steel Beast' Removed 1 Year Ago

It was on a clear November day that the century old water tower at the Northside's Aeolian Plant was removed. That day was November 17th of 2009- 1 year ago. The sky is emptier over Garwood after its removal, while the hulking factory it helped protect remains. The tower had stood in the borough since 1900.

365 Poll Question, 2009

In 2009, 365 asked in an online poll whether residents thought the Water Tower was the Eiffel Tower of Garwood. The Tower got a mixed response in that poll, 53% said it was a landmark for the borough, while 46% said no. At the time 1 reader suggested sprucing it up and painting Garwood on it.

In covering the dismantling project the Star Ledger referred to the Tower as a "hulking landmark" but, said its fate for demolition was set when borough officials complained of its decaying appearance and fretted about concerns for safety.

Photo from nj.com's coverage
While many it town did love the historic structure, Mayor Dennis McCarthy called it “an eyesore.” And the borough clerk, Christina Ariemma, called it "useless" in an article in the Cranford Chronicle.

Despite the maligning from officials 365 received a reader submitted poem entitled Goodbye Water Tower. In it the anonymous writer called the Tower a "Steal Beast" and remarked on its importance to the borough and its metaphorical connection to America's once powerful manufacturing sector.

Untitled Poem

The steel beast built tall and strong, a service to the industry it once belonged. The safety of the workers so they won’t be wronged, was the Garwood water tower.

One hundred years ago it was raised from the surface to stand watch. Yet stayed on beyond the life of the plant it looked after. It lived there with no apparent purpose ‘cept to be a structure that we all came to know and yet not really acknowledge what it accomplished in the past. The plant and tower now sleep together.

It was a symbol of America’s might. With products made and always right. Stood tall thru day and night, within the sight of all residents below.

It was the Garwood Water Tower.

There comes a time, when we stop looking back, the cherished thoughts still within our minds. Yet the march of time always changes things, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but change we must call progress, none the less. The proud strength that once was will never be. Piece by piece, it returns to earth. We must say goodbye to a friend we never really knew, but was always quietly there.

We must say good bye.




  1. and to celebrate the anniversary, they removed the nearby "pianola" smokestack.

  2. Glad to see it go- it looked like crap