In early July of 2015 the City of Linden entered into a contract to demolish the city’s 1934 water tower, which had been scheduled for elective decommissioning as part of a major city infrastructure upgrade. Immediately, citizens rallied around an effort to “Save the Tower” due to its historical novelty, contribution to the town skyline, and recent prominence in the video promotion of native son Don Henley’s newest album, Cass County.
Funded by water tower supporter Don Henley, an independent engineering study led by MTG Engineering was commissioned to professionally assess the tower’s structural stability, recommended repairs, and cost options. On October 9, this important study was completed and delivered to Mr. Henley, Members of Linden City Council, and Directors of the Linden Heritage Foundation. The findings show that the iconic 1934 water tower has weathered time remarkably well and that it remains sturdy and safe, although minor structural repairs are recommended to one of the footing bolts and to some of the secondary features (such as ladder, railing, and access hatch). A summary of these detailed engineering investigations is available on the Documents page of this website.
The MTG Engineering study reassures us all that the water tower will stand for a long time to come, which of course makes it possible for all parties to proceed confidently with preservation options for the tower. Accordingly, the City of Linden agreed unanimously to an October 13, 2015 Resolution authorizing the Linden Heritage Foundation to develop materials for soliciting viable development proposals around the water tower site. By December 31, 2015 the Linden Heritage Foundation had formally committed to serve the interests of the people of Linden in the following ways:
1) Develop and submit a considered plan to Linden City Council for encouraging private commercial development of the 1934 water tower and firehouse, and
2) research and submit applications for the water tower and historic firehouse to be listed as local historic landmarks.
Another step in decommissioning of Linden’s 1934 water tank was completed on 28 October 2015 when sections of underground water pipes were removed and then capped around the perimeter of the water tower’s foundation. This process is referred to as air gapping. A.L. Franks Engineering of Texarkana, AR performed the work.
Aerial video of Historic 1934 Water Tower and the Courthouse Square in Linden, Texas courtesy of Kerry and Erin Wells.