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Iconic Andersonville Water Tower Coming Down

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Crews have begun removing an iconic water tower on top of a museum in Andersonville, after it was damaged by the extreme cold this winter.

Swedish American Museum spokeswoman Karen Moen Abercrombie said the process to remove the water tank on top of the museum at at 5211 N. Clark St. began shortly before 8 a.m. Friday.

The removal could take 12 hours or more.

The water tower has stood atop the building for 87 years. The Swedish American Museum moved into the building in 1987, and painted a likeness of the Swedish flag on the tank in 1999.

Consultants have said the tower must come down because severe weather this winter left the tank in a perilous state. Water in the tank is believed to have frozen and damaged the support bands holding the tank together.

It’s unclear if the tank can be repaired and placed back atop the museum.

It’s the third time in recent months a water tower has caused problems in Chicago.

Last month, gallons of water poured out of a water tank in the 400 block of West Huron Street, forcing more than 200 people in the building below to be evacuated.

Last August, three people were hospitalized after a water tank toppled from its perch atop a historic Lakeview building. The tank fell more than 100 feet, and sent tens of thousands of gallons gushing through the parking lot and alley below, sweeping people off their feet.