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Frozen water pipe causes damage at Elgin Tower Building

Updated: March 7, 2013 10:14AM

ELGIN — The Tower Building in downtown Elgin is dealing with the aftermath of a common winter-related problem: frozen pipes.

In an email late Tuesday afternoon, attorney Neal Pitcher, who has an office in the building, stated, “A small water line supplying a sink on the unoccupied 12th floor apparently froze and broke Saturday morning. Unfortunately, being a Saturday with few tenants in the building, it probably spewed water for several hours before the issue was noticed.”

Pitcher heads the nonprofit William R. Stickling Foundation, which owns and oversees the operation of the Tower Building, at East Chicago Street and South Grove Avenue, which opened in 1929 as a bank just before the start of the Great Depression. The organization is named after the late Bill Stickling, who bought the 15-story building in 1978 and owned it until his death in 1999.

According to Pitcher, “Water trickled down several pipe shafts, the main stairwell and other openings — all the way to the basement in the case of the main pipe shaft. We had water dripping out of a few light fixtures on the 11th through 8th floors.”

Pitcher wrote that power to those lights was shut off for safety. Since the building is all concrete and masonry, there was no damage to the structure other than a ceiling and wall needing to be repainted in a room on the ninth floor.

“We have had an electrical contractor checking the affected light fixtures for any remaining water today. All electrical power in the building is back on, and all areas of the building that were occupied remain occupied,” he stated.

No estimate was given for the damage or repair work.

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