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Landmark century-old railroad watch tower getting makeover

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A century-old railroad watch tower in western Michigan has been taken down for a long-overdue makeover.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the dilapidated wooden shack was removed Thursday from its base and will be renovated or restored, depending on its condition.

SIBSCO LLC recently purchased the property on which the tower sits, which includes El Sombrero restaurant.

Charlie Secchia, a principal with SIBSCO, says restoration will take from two weeks to four months.

Secchia says preliminary inspections indicate the tower was in rough shape.

The tower, built between 1910 and 1920, stood watch over two railroads whose tracks ran parallel to each other and remained in operation until the late 1970s or early 1980s.

It was used to operate track switches and lights that warned motorists about trains.

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