ProMedica to remove historic smoke stacks at downtown headquarters

ProMedica to remove historic smoke stacks at downtown headquarters

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - ProMedica announced Thursday changes to its plans for its new headquarters at the old Edison Steam Plant in Downtown Toledo.

The two iconic smokestacks that have been part of Toledo's skyline for more than a century are going to be demolished.

They say a recent inspection showed that the support columns have deteriorated, making the stacks structurally unsound.

"What we found was that the brick base, that 55-foot base, that the top area close to the steel is very deteriorated. So there's motor that is completely eroded, there's structural cracks that go all the way through, there's brick that has fallen off, and so that base is just structurally not stable," said Robin Whitney, ProMedica. "Things are aged, there's been a lot of deterioration, but we had hoped we could do something less dramatic. That we could leave things in place and come up with a solution, but we haven't found engineers that can show us a way to do that safely."

Whitney says two replicas will be built. They'll be twenty feet shorter and smaller in diameter, but bricks from the old smokestacks will be incorporated.

"It makes it easier to reconstruct that. But aesthetically, we're pretty excited about how it's still going to look," said Whitney.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office has signed off on the plan. Approval must now come from the City's Historic Commission and the City Plan Commission next month.

"We feel if we can get that done quickly, we'll be able to commence the demolition immediately thereafter," said Whitney.

The smokestack demolition could push back the renovation project 10 to 12 weeks.

Completion is expected in the spring of 2017.

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