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August 22, 2010

Athlone cooling towers’ demolition draws mixed reactions

athlone cooling towers

The Athlone cooling towers. Photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

The demolition of the Athlone cooling towers has met with mixed reactions from Cape Town residents and visitors. The two iconic structures, which stood since 1960, were imploded at a few minutes before noon on Sunday, August 22, for safety reasons.

Well over 200 comments have been posted by fans of the I ♥ Cape Town group on Facebook, who have different opinions about the 80-metre-high structures. Some felt the towers had been an eyesore and had emitted an unpleasant odour, while others saw them as part of Cape Town’s heritage and found them a useful landmark.

Lorraine Sadowsky Smith is one of many Capetonians with fond memories of the towers: “How sad! When I was growing up we looked at them from our back ‘stoep’ to see which direction the wind was blowing [in],” she wrote.

Joan Apthorp saw it differently. She wrote: “About time! They’ve been a monstrous eyesore for far too long.”

“These twin icons will be missed (if only for that not-too-pleasant whiff one gets when whizzing past on the N2!),” wrote Linford Andrews.

You can e-mail your photographs of the implosion to fb@capetown.travel.

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