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Groupon Launches Campaign to Restore Andersonville's Water Tower

Online effort solicits donations to restore water tower atop Swedish American Museum

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The water tower atop the Swedish American Museum has been in place for more than 80 years. But this winter's harsh weather caused so much damage it has to be removed. Emily Florez reports. (Published Thursday, Mar 20, 2014)

    Chicago-based Groupon wants to see a symbol of Andersonville's identity restored.

    The company on Friday launched a campaign to restore the historic water tower that, up until Thursday, stood atop the Swedish American Museum.

    RAW: Watch Swedish Museum Water Tower Come Down

    [CHI] RAW: Watch Swedish Museum Water Tower Come Down
    Water tower damaged beyond repair following cold, snowy winter. (Published Thursday, Mar 20, 2014)

    In a 13-hour effort, crews removed the tower because it was damaged throughout the course of our long winter. Water in the tank, painted to resemble the Swedish flag with a blue background and yellow cross, is believed to have frozen during the winter and damaged the bands holding the tank together.

    A page on Groupon's website -- www.groupon.com/andersonville -- is collecting donations through the end of the month "to fully restore" the tower once it's been repaired. People can donate in $10, $25 or $50 increments, the company said, with 100 percent of the money raised going to the museum. Groupon will take care of the credit card fees.

    Lesli Proffitt Nordstrom, the museum's marketing manager, said it wasn't immediately known how much it would cost to restore the tower, which now sits in the museum's parking lot. Experts are slated to examine the tank in the coming week to determine what can be done with it, she said.

    "In the event that it can't be repaired, we want to make sure that whatever we put up there is equally striking," she said.

    Groupon said similar restoration projects in the past have cost up to $200,000.

    The loss of the tower, which was erected in 1927 and remained functioning, was "really catastrophic for us," Proffitt Nordstrom said.

    A symbol of the tower is included in the logo for the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, and Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) called it a "a treasured symbol of the Andersonville community" in an email to constituents.

    Groupon officials approached the museum late Thursday to coordinate the details of the funding campaign. Donations can also be made to the museum through the website at SwedishAmericanMuseum.org.