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Chelsea water tower coming down to make room for veterans’ housing

Soldiers’ Home structure has loomed as local reference point for 60 years

Photo via Soldiers’ Home Facebook page

The state-run Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea is taking down its 150-foot water tower in early 2019 to make way for a new longterm care facility for up to 154 veterans.

That Crest Avenue facility, the Community Living Center, is expected to open in 2022. It will mean the demise of the red-and-white-checkered tower that went up 60 years ago and that was decommissioned in October 2011, when the Soldiers’ Home activated a pump station.

The complex had considered incorporating the water tower into its plans, but it was not feasible, per the Globe’s Laura Crimaldi. Instead, a Soldiers’ Home spokeswoman said the complex looked forward “to memorializing this piece of history in the upcoming construction project.”

Whatever its functionality—or lack thereof—the tower had long served as a literal local landmark that signaled to Chelsea residents and other commuters that they were passing in and out of the northern Boston neighbor.