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Akron, Ohio

City to Lower One of the B.F. Goodrich Stacks

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 01-25-2017

Akron, Ohio, January 25, 2017 – Mayor Dan Horrigan announced today that the City of Akron will be partially removing a portion of one of the two iconic red brick “GOODRICH” smokestacks on South Main Street. Preliminary work is scheduled to start in the coming weeks.

The northern stack (closer to Downtown) will be lowered by approximately 100 feet—from its original height of 195 feet to a new height of approximately 95 feet. The southern stack will be preserved at its current height of approximately 195 feet.

“These smokestacks are part of Akron’s rich, industrial history and form part of our southern skyline,” Mayor Horrigan said. “The decision to remove part of the northern stack was not one we welcomed, and certainly not one that we made lightly. However, we cannot and will not risk anyone being injured from falling bricks; and, unfortunately, it would cost $1 million to temporarily secure the northern stack in its current condition. In order to appropriately respect the history of this iconic structure, we will be saving a portion of the bricks being removed for future creative and community use."

The stacks sit atop the former B.F. Goodrich tire complex, which the City has owned since November 1987. The facility is currently used by Akron Energy Systems (AES), which operates the City’s steam plant; and AES employees enter the facility regularly for maintenance and work.

The stacks were in active use for nearly 100 years. During that time of activity, they maintained a constant temperature, which prevented swelling and contracting. The stacks were decommissioned in 2015, due to EPA mandated regulations, and have since been exposed to the variations of Ohio weather, which has taken a significant toll on their structural condition.

The stacks were periodically inspected by a professional industrial stack construction contractor throughout, which included photographs an inspection reports along with condition assessments and repair recommendations. In recent months, the northern stack has displayed evidence of large cracks and dislodged mortar joints in numerous locations, posing a risk for falling bricks or partial collapse. The southern stack is in better structural condition, but has also been exposed to a cycle of precipitation, freezing and thawing. In the coming weeks, the northern stack will be lowered to a safe height and both stacks will be capped to prevent moisture from entering. Once lowered, the northern stack is expected to be capped just above the letter ‘R’ of “GOODRICH.”

“While it’s disappointing to see any part of Akron’s iconic industrial history removed,” says Dave Lieberth, chairman of the Summit County Historical Society, “we’re grateful that the City has involved us in their decision-making, and accommodated most of the historic structure consistent with public safety. We continue to work with local artists to determine the best way to showcase Akron’s smokestack history.”

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For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street, Suite 200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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