Save the Historic 1898 St. Charles Mo Water Tower

The Victorian water tower of St. Charles is a monument to it's glorious and valuable historic past. It is a powerful monolithic presence which is an ingrained memory for those who attended Lindenwood University, grew up in St. Charles or visited the community.

The aesthetic beauty of the Victorian tower with its dominant cylindrical form has many fine attributes which make it worth a long look. The tower is accented by square columns beginning with bold white granite bases under lengthy brick wedge forms ending with victorian capitals. They are separated by subtle archways and medallions. As the eyes follow upward horizontal detailed dental brickwork create a middle body which is then spectacularly crowned with an iron walkway having radial arms with fine scrollwork and extremely intricate scrollwork in the rail on the walkway. The wooden cone formed shake roof top adds the final detail to what was a well designed architectural marvel for its day.

 On May 7, 2020 the City of St. Charles at the request of Lindenwood University issued a demolition permit for the St. Charles Historic Water Tower. They did this during a pandemic without notice to the public or an opportunity to be heard. Upon research it was discovered that on February 25, 1971 The City of St. Charles conveyed the circa 1890s water tower to Lindenwood for $10. In exchange for this "steal of a deal" the agreement stated Lindenwood University would preserve and maintain the Historic water Tower for the City giving them the property.

Since that time I roughly estimate that over One Hundred Million Dollars has been spent on other improvements in todays value on the university grounds. However Lindenwood did not maintain or preserve the property and intentionally let the tower fall into disrepair. Lindenwood then went to the City and said the tower is dangerous. A condition they caused by not doing routine maintenance and repairs. Lindenwood needs to keep its promise to the Citizens of St. Charles and the Lindenwood University community. This historic landmark water tower is unique and irreplaceable. Lindenwood spent extensively on other improvements but failed to allocate any respectful or reasonable amount of their hefty resources to meet its commitment to maintain and preserve the water tower.

Lindenwood claims it is part of the community "like a team player."
I beg to differ. If there is one characteristic about St. Charles, MO that comes to mind for anyone who's been here is its historic architecture. Without it we would just be another Missouri town with a college in it. Instead people think of how its like "the old west" or "something out of a Thomas Heart Benton painting".  But if we allow the precident that even a contractural agreement to maintain a historical property can be derailed by "Demolition by Neglect" then no historical property is safe.  Even if the purchaser covenants to preserve and maintain it.

Once it is gone it is gone forever. The St. Charles historic water tower is a contributing structure and adds character and historic uniqueness to the neighborhood. On May 14, 2020 a group worked together of Lindenwood Alumni and community lovers of the tower  filed a  pro se (representing ourselves)  emergency Motion to stop the demolition.

On May 15, 2020 at 10 a.m. Thankfully the honorable Judge Fagras granted the motion to stop demolition. Lindenwood and the City of St. Charles were immediately ordered to stop demolition. However, they continued  and Lindenwood Alumni hurriedly called the police. St Charles City Police responded promptly ordering  the demolition workers off the tower.  Since then the city and Lindenwood has hired a plethora of attorneys to attack our motion and remove the stop order. We no longer have the ability to represent ourselves and were referred to Dan Goldberg a well known attorney,  skilled at injunctive relief cases who is active in the preservation community. He requested a $2000 retainer and $285 an hour going forward. We estimate this will cost around $4500 -$5000 to litigate in the initial court stages. We are asking for the St. Charles Community and the Lindenwood University Community to help out with this expense.  All money donated less the go fund me charges will go to the cost of the litigation.   We ask you to donate if you can and/ or to call Lindenwood University President John Porter at (636) 949-4949 and demand that the water tower be restored and maintained by Lindenwood as promised. We are also calling on all preservationist and lovers of historic St. Charles to send in a friend of the court brief or a letter to St. Charles County Circuit Court C/O Judge Dan Pelikan 200 N. 2nd Street, St. Charles, Mo 63301 ask that the Historic St. Charles Water Tower be Saved. Thank You!

If you do not want to use electronic donations you can send donations directly to Dan Goldberg, 228 N. Main St. St. Charles, Mo 63301. Please note in the memo that it is for the legal fund to save the Historic St. Charles Water Tower.

Donations

  • Katie Rowley 
    • $25 
    • 28 d
  • Patricia Montgomery 
    • $25 
    • 29 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 29 d
  • Penny Pitman 
    • $100 
    • 29 d
  • Amy McMahill 
    • $40 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer

Roman Buddemeyer 
Organizer
Saint Charles, MO
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