Peachoid

The Peachoid is a four-story (150 feet tall) water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina, United States, that resembles a peach. The water tower holds one million gallons of water and is located on Interstate 85 between exits 90 and 92 (near the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway). Usually referred to by passing motorists as "The Peach" or "The Moon over Gaffney." The water tank is visible for several miles around these exits.

An example of novelty architecture, the Peachoid is one of the most recognizable landmarks on the part of I-85 connecting Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. A FATZ restaurant is now located just east of the water tower, a prime location for publicity.

History

The Peachoid was built in 1981 by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, of steel and concrete. An overlay stem and leaf were laid across the structure, an enormous "cleft" was created with steel paneling, and Peter Freudenberg, an artist who worked with macro-art, painted the structure to realistically pass for a peach.

The Peachoid was commissioned by the Gaffney Board of Public Works, who had a need for elevated water storage and wished to find a way of building it using federal funding. The shape of the peach was selected because the Gaffney economy was then dependent upon peach orchards, and because the people of the town wanted to make clear that South Carolina, and at one time, Cherokee County alone, (where Gaffney is located) produced more peaches per year than the entire state of Georgia (known as the "Peach State"). Since its construction, the Peachoid's extremely high visibility has introduced an element of tourism to the local economy, and a smaller (500,000 gallons) peachoid has been built for Clanton, Alabama.

The Peachoid has appeared as an oddity in films in the past. In Lost in America, the travelers stumble across it.

Architectural details

The following gallery of pictures, together with the article's main picture, shows the Peachoid from different angles and at various points in its history. The first picture, taken from the air at around the time of construction in the 1980s, shows how the area is undeveloped, surrounded by fields. Later, a cafe and parking lot was built in the area behind the Peachoid. The second picture shows the Peachoid from this parking lot in 2005, showing the reverse (leafless) side of the Peachoid. The third picture, looking up the stem on the rear side, shows reflections from the lighting system, the painted word "GAFFNEY", and details of the metal rings around the stem. This picture also shows the protruding structure at the base of the peach. The article's main picture (above) completes this set of images, showing the Peachoid at night and clearly showing the cleft in the peach-shaped structure.

  • Aerial view at the time of construction in the 1980s

  • View from the nearby FATZ parking lot in 2005

  • Close-up of the stem lit-up at dusk in 2007.

It should be noted that many complain/jest that the structure, on the "cleft" side, is also representative of a human posterior.

Media

2 photos

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com