Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Anaconda Water Tower - Hastings-on-Hudson

This 80' tall, 75,000 gallon water tower overlooks the Hudson River from the east bank in the village of Hastings-On-Hudson, in lower Westchester County. It is one of the only remaining structures of the Anaconda Wire & Cable Company.

In its heyday, the Anaconda Company was a major industry in the area, producing wire for electric cable (and ammunition during World War II) on 27 acres of land from the end of the 19th century until 1975. Unfortunately, in those pre-EPA days, it was one of the worst industrial polluters on the Hudson, and that's saying something. The land and riverbed are severely contaminated with PCBs, copper, lead, and zinc, and is a Superfund site.

Most of the rest of the site was demolished by BP, the current landowner, in 2010, and environmental clean-up began in 2013. There are different ideas of how the site could be redeveloped, although the flooding that occurred during Superstorm Sandy has called a lot of those plans into question. One study recommended that the tower be preserved, but it would have to be disassembled and moved since remediation would involve excavating the soil around and beneath it to a depth of 12 feet to decontaminate it. I rather suspect that sooner or later, it is going to join the rest of the Anaconda Company in industrial Valhalla.

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