Days Numbered For Old McBee Chimney< < Back to
Ohio University will be demolishing a historical landmark this week.
An OU spokeswoman says an 85-foot stand-alone chimney will be razed Wednesday due to safety issues and upkeep problems.
The chimney is located in the research park on West State Street behind the Innovation Center.
It was preserved from the former McBee building the university purchased in the 1970s.
The chimney was not torn down with the building because the late naturalist Ora Anderson defended the area as a nesting place for swallow birds.
Athens County Historical Society Director Ron Luce says as long as the University plans to recognize Anderson's contributions to Athens, he doesn't think there is a problem with tearing down the chimney.
"Nobody likes to lose anything that's a part of our history but at least in this particular case, I think the falling bricks present a safety and the phenomenal cost that it would take to spare the chimney is just too much," said Luce. "I don't see it as a big issue, as long as there is some sort of commemorative marker that indicates what was once there."
Luce says he thinks the historical marker will go up soon after the chimney is demolished.
He says the University is still in discussion over what the design for the marker will be.