Watch This! Say Good-bye to the Ovaltine Smokestack

The Ovaltine smokestack goes down during a planned implosion

The smokestack at the former Ovaltine factory came down without incident during a planned implosion Wednesday afternoon.

There was talk earlier this summer of saving the Villa Park landmark, but initial cost estimates put the cost of repairing the aging smokestack at $225,000 to $345,000 or more, officials said.

There were vocal critics to the decision to take down the 217-foot-tall chimney, which is near Villa and Kenilworth avenues. Most cited the historical significance of the stack to the community, developed roughly 100 years ago for the employees of the Ovaltine Company. The factory closed in 1988, two years after being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The implosion was precarious, as the factory surrounding the stack was turned into loft apartments several years ago.

Last winter, one of the metal rungs around the top of the smoke stack disengaged and fell to the parking lot barely missing resident's cars. Since then a circle of fencing has barricaded the stack from pedestrians.

The Villa Park Historical Society has photos of the complex from several decades on its Web site.

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