Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018

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Ohio University to raze West State Street chimney, plans historical markers

Ohio University will demolish an 85-ft. stand-alone chimney on April 11. The chimney is located in the research park on West State Street behind the Innovation Center. A crane will be needed to demolish the chimney, so the parking lot behind the Innovation Center, in front of the Corrosion Building, will be closed on April 11.

The chimney was preserved from the former McBee building that the University purchased in the 1970s. The decision to raze the chimney came after estimates to repair it totaled more than $60,000, and ongoing inspection and maintenance costs made it fiscally irresponsible to keep, according to Lynnette Clouse, project manager in design and construction.

Clouse is working with the Athens County Historical Society, the Ora E. Anderson Conservation Fund and others to plan historical markers for the west end of Athens, close to where the chimney now stands. The chimney was once part of a slaughterhouse, and the surrounding area was a significant industrial area. The group would also like to find a way to recognize Ora Anderson's contributions to Athens and to replace the plaque that honors him that is currently attached to the chimney.

"We are convening a group from the University and the community to help us research ways to honor the significance of this part of town," said Clouse. "We're excited about the history and how we can preserve some of it. We're saving some of the chimney bricks for this use."