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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peachy Water Tower(s)

P1040196YES, it’s a 150 foot tall (4 story) water tower which holds 1 million gallons of water and is known as the Peachoid. It’s located on the north side of I-85 between exits 90 and 92 in Gaffney, SC and visible SC water tower1for several miles near the exits.There’s a small parking lot at the base. A Fatz Cafe eatery is located east of the water tower. This is one of the most recognizable landmarks on the section of I-85 that connects Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA.

The Peachoid is an example of roadside architecture – think Paul Bunyan in Maine.  It was commissioned in 1980 by the Gaffney Board of Public Works, which needed an elevated water storage and wanted to build it with federal monies. The peach shape was selected since the local economy was dependent on peach growing and wanted to everyone to know that SC at one time annually produced more peaches than the entire state of GA, known as the Peach State.

It was constructed by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company and took 5 months to design and mold from steel and concrete. An overlay stem and leaf were laid across the structure, an enormous "cleft" was created with steel paneling. A local artist, Peter Freudenberg, painted the structure using 50 gallons of paint in 20 colors after studying local peaches. A seven ton, 60-feet long leaf was applied to one side.

The Peachoid has appeared in films like the 1985 comedy, Lost in America, starring Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty as a couple (David and Linda Howard) who fed up with their lifestyle, take their savings and drop out, heading out to see the country in an RV. The plan goes awry when Linda loses “the nest egg” gambling at Las Vegas casino. This is a VERY funny film and highly recommended if you haven’t seen it. Did we mention it is REALLY funny . . .

BUT, the Peachoid is not the only peach water tower as Mama-Bug noted in her comment to the previous post.

There’s another smaller (500,000 gallons) peach water tower inalabama peach tower Clanton, AL. It was built in 1992 also by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. This one is on I-65 between Birmingham and Montgomery, Exit 212. The Clanton Peach tower is 120 feet tall and holds 500,000 gallons of water, half the volume of its SC counterpart. Chilton County, where Clanton is located, is a major peach producer in Alabama. 

7 comments:

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

I like it a lot! Most modern water towers tends to look like UFO´s :-) So this is a nice change.

Have a great day now!
Christer.

Anvilcloud said...

A peachy keen water tower.

Out on the prairie said...

I like the story to go with this work of art.I have been to a few more, like Paul Bunyan,Worlds Largest Bullhead etc.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Christer, I agree with you.
AC, it is that for sure.
Steve, it was fun to research this water tower and to learn there is another similar one in AL built by the same company.

Elaine said...

Great information about the Peachoid! I've seen lots of interesting water towers around the country, but never one as creative as this one. We haven't made it that far south and east on our travels, but hopefully soon.....

Ann Nichols said...

Again... so interesting!!
Happy St. Nicholas Day!
Ann

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Elaine and Ann for the visits and Happy St Nicholas Day to you too.

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