Hallandale Beach water tower torn down

Crews pull down the tower at Hallandale City Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For 62 years, a water tower stood watch over Hallandale City Park. But, in a manner of seconds, it was lying on its side.

Crews spent several hours on Thursday morning cutting away the six legs that supported the 200,000 gallon tank. About 10 a.m., a giant forklift brought the 160-foot landmark down.

"Usually, it comes over a little easier than this one did today, but it's a heavy tower and the winds were at our backs holding the structure up," said contractor Bob Santore.

Watch: Water tower toppled

"Well, from my whole, life it's been there," said Vice Mayor Bill Julian.

Julian was one of several generations of little leaguers who played in the shadow of the water tower, which was built in 1951. He said climbing the water tower was a rite of passage -- and that he did it in the early 60s.

"I got up near the railing, the top, and the Hallandale police came and they shined their light on me and all the kids turned me in and they ran," said Julian.

The city stopped using the tower to pressurize its water system last month. Refurbishing it would have cost nearly $200,000.

Crews will spend the next several days taking the tower apart.

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