The 32-year-old water tower behind the is standing no longer. On Thursday, Fairfax County contractors spent seven hours on the structure by cutting the center column with a blow torch and pulling out two supporting legs with a bulldozer.
The 250,000 gallon Water Tank WT-20 was deemed dangerous by the county in a September 2011 report from the Fairfax County Risk Management Division.
"The potential for a catastrophic failure is real," the report reads. "It represents a clear hazard in an area which is currently in active use by construction personnel and will eventually be open to the public."
Three of 12 retaining bolts at the base of the columns were "seriously deteriorated" and it represented "a serious hazard and a significant liability to the County," according to the report.
The Lorton prison site closed in 2001, and it is unclear when use of the tower ceased. The structure was built in 1980, and the county had no historic hoops to jump through for demolition approval.