It's been a local fixture for years, but its current owner doesn't want it declared a landmark and could tear it down. Can Rochester save the Ear of Corn water tower?

TSM Rochester
TSM Rochester

That's the question being asked by local photographer, Kelly Schoeberl of Olive Juice Studios in Rochester. She just launched a letter-writing campaign to save Rochester's iconic water tower on her company's website.

So why would someone want to tear the tower down? Because its current owner, Seneca Foods, is shutting down operations at the Rochester plant in just a few weeks. While they haven't announced what they plan to do with the property, selling it is probably a good bet.

And selling said the Seneca property with a water tower deemed a local landmark on it would most likely make things much more difficult. Which is also probably why, according to this MPR story, Seneca's lawyers sent a letter to the city of Rochester suggesting the water tower NOT be named a landmark. ("The design is not unique, the history is not unique, but the paint on the water tower is unique, and that alone does not warrant listing as a potential landmark," the story noted Seneca's lawyers said in a letter to the city.)

But that's where Schoeberl and her hubby, Scott, come in. They've started a letter-writing campaign to help the city's Heritage Preservation Commission save the tower. They're asking the City Council to protect the corn tower as a historical landmark at a meeting on January 7. And they're asking for your help. (You can get more info about where to send a letter in support of saving the tower HERE.)

Will they be able to save it? Should they? Is the Ear of Corn water tower a part of Rochester's culture and history that should be saved?

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc



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