Busted Plug towed away

The Busted Plug was constructed in 2001 by Blue Sky in honor of his father who was state fire marshall.

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Crews lifted power lines as the Busted Plug was moved north. | Photo by Lee Snelgrove

The Busted Plug sculpture, aka the world’s largest fire hydrant, was towed away on Thursday afternoon, nearly 22 years to the date it was unveiled.

We’re taking a quick look back at the public art piece and look forward to its uncertain future.

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Hundreds gather to watch the unveiling of the Busted Plug. | Screenshot via Newspapers.com from The State

🔥 A look back

  • Hundreds of Soda Citizens gathered at a ceremony held on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2001, in Busted Plug Plaza. The tarp was removed from the four-story hydrant built by local artist Blue Sky who dedicated the piece to his father. In Cola fashion, the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” played as the “leaning hydrant of Columbia” was unveiled.
  • Most people in attendance had no idea what the giant sculpture would be before it was unveiled, and in fanciful fashion, an Elvis impersonator performed before the fire hydrant was revealed.

🚒 Roadside attraction

🧯 Where’s it going?

It is being moved to a temporary location off Interstate 20 until the city decides where the sculpture will be displayed.

Answered: We asked you where it should go earlier this week and received over 100 responses. Here are some that stood out:

  • I-126, where it splits b/t Huger & Elmwood
  • Finley Park or the Riverfront Park
  • The grounds of the Columbia Fire Department Headquarters
  • BullStreet District
  • Finlay Park or 5 Points- somewhere smallish that would highlight its impressive size!
  • Saluda Dog Park

But not all of you are fans of the whimsical sculpture:

  • The dump
  • Permanently into storage. Never been a fan.
  • Move it to North Carolina.
  • Melt it and recycle it.

We’ll keep you updated on when you can see the Busted Plug again.

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