LU water tower demolition on pause


Photo by Kat Owens

The Lindenwood water tower is considered a historic landmark of St. Charles.

Merlina San Nicolás Leyva, News Editor

Lindenwood’s intention to demolish a historic water tower has been put to a halt while a judge rules on an application to stop the destruction.

St. Charles County Circuit Court Judge Mike Fagras ordered Lindenwood to stop the demolition of the historic campus water tower on May 15 in response to a request filed by Lindenwood alumnus Roman Buddemeyer. 

Lindenwood filed a motion for change of judge, which was granted on May 19. The case will be heard by St. Charles County Circuit Court Judge Dan Pelikan.

Originally, a motion hearing was scheduled for May 21 at 10 a.m. but was cancelled. The new hearing is scheduled for May 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Buddemeyer was granted a 7-day leave to seek relief to cover the costs of litigation.

Buddemeyer started a GoFundMe to hire Dan Goldberg, a “well-known attorney, skilled at injunctive relief cases, who is active in the preservation community,” he wrote in the GoFundMe page.

He estimates the initial costs of litigation to be between $4,500 to $5,000. The GoFundMe page has attracted 65 donors and $3,215 in pledges by mid-afternoon of May 19.

“Lindenwood is my alma mater. As an alumni, I am ashamed of Lindenwoods [sic] refusal to honor their commitment to the Citizens of St. Charles to maintain and preserve the tower,” Buddemeyer said in a Facebook post

Lindenwood is represented by Kyle Paul Seebach and Mohsen Paiam Khajeh Pasha. The City of St. Charles is represented by Michael Jerome Valenti.

Lindenwood planned to demolish the tower because of its deterioration and the possibility of falling bricks injuring students, staff, faculty, and visitors walking by it. 

The City of St. Charles approved a demolition request for the Lindenwood Water Tower on May 7 after an engineer hired by Lindenwood deemed it unsafe. 

The engineer, John E. Kildea Jr, recommended not to rehabilitate or restore the water tower as it is not “economically feasible due to the extent of the deterioration observed. I recommend hiring a demolition contractor to completely demolish the existing water tower,” according to his inspection report for Lindenwood.  

Lindenwood plans to construct a monument and keep 100 bricks that members of the community can purchase.