A chimney that was part of a German POW camp during World War II will be removed from a West Ashley property after Charleston City Council Tuesday voted against granting it protected, historic status.
The chimney sits on land on Colony Drive in West Ashley, which is owned by a Jewish family. The family wanted the chimney removed from the property and was opposed to the city granting the protected status.
Mickey Aberman, whose family owns the property, said the family will remove it, but they haven't yet had time to make arrangements.
"In the meantime, if somebody would like to come and take it away, we're fine with that," he said.
The city originally had proposed zoning the property diverse residential with a landmark overlay zone for the area that contains the chimney. Under this classification, the chimney could not be changed, removed or destroyed without permission from Charleston's Board of Architectural Review.
But the city's Planning Commission last month recommended not granting protected status, and City Council followed the recommendation.
The family bought the property about 20 years ago because it bordered some of their land. The brick chimney, fireplace and concrete slab beneath are all that remain of the prisoner-of-war camp.
Aberman said the chimney was built by captured German soldiers and officers who may have used the clubhouse that used to stand around the chimney. His family finds abhorrent the idea of keeping a chimney that warmed German officers, he said.
But local historian Donna Jacobs said her research has shown that the chimney was used by Americans guarding the camp.
Jacobs was one of several people who voiced their concerns to City Council. She wanted the chimney preserved. "It's a piece of our history," she said. "It's just unfortunate."
Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.
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