Athlone Towers Set To Tumble

Athlone Towers
This has been in the pipeline for a few years now, and finally it seems we’ve got a date to watch the Athlone Cooling Towers go Boom! I’m on the fence regarding the demolition, I haven’t seen a good explosion since buying dynamite from the miner’s market in Potosi, Bolivia, at the same time these robust landmarks have always been part of the view.

(Here’s Lance buying what looks like a gigantic feminine product from a dispassionate Bolivian shopkeeper: for the princely sum of about $1 you can arm yourself to the molars with nitroglycerine. Good times!)
Potosi Mines Bolivia

I (vaguely) remember some sunrises from Rhodes Memorial during my UCT daze – The idea is you view three forms of energy: The Sunrise, The Athlone Cooling Towers and the statue bearing the name ‘Physical Energy’, don’t ask me why this was significant, but at the time it was a double rainbow moment.


A pair of falcons have made the towers their home since the 1980s and while they’ve been moved to a nearby nest, I’m sure they’re pretty pissed that their home is the subject of explosive spectacle. Over 3000 holes have been drilled into each tower for the charges and demolition time is 12h00 Sunday 22 August 2010. I imagine Rhodes Memorial will be a complete zoo on Sunday, get there early, get blazed and wave goodbye to the towers.

It’s inevitable that they need to come down, but still, a little piece of history up in a cloud of smoke is a tad sad.

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~ by bowlphilosophy on August 4, 2010.

2 Responses to “Athlone Towers Set To Tumble”

  1. This should be great to watch. Now if we can just get rid of the tampon towers and that pesky mountain

  2. Absolutely in agreement with Joe above!

    I can’t believe I missed it. The rain in CT today must be a sign though: someone isn’t too happy about them coming down. Having said that, they were completely unstable and needed to be demolished. But it’s a landmark and sad to see it destroyed.

    Sad day to be stuck indoors forgetting about a momentous occasion *slaps face over the head*

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