The Peachoid is a 135 feet (41 m) tall water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina, U.S.A., that resembles a peach. The water tower holds one million U.S. gallons (3.8 million litres) of water and is located off Peachoid Road by Interstate 85 between exits 90 and 92 (near the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway). Usually referred to by locals as "The Peach" and by passing motorists as "Mr. Peach" or "The Moon over Gaffney", the water tank is visible for several miles around these exits.
The Peachoid was built in 1981 by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, of steel and concrete. An overlay stem and leaf were laid across the structure, an enormous "cleft" was created with steel paneling, and Peter Freudenberg, an artist who worked with macro-art, painted the structure to realistically pass for a peach.
The Peachoid was commissioned by the Gaffney Board of Public Works, who had a need for elevated water storage and wished to find a way of building it using federal funding. The shape of the peach was selected because the Gaffney economy was then dependent upon peach orchards, and because the people of the town wanted to make clear that South Carolina, and at one time, Cherokee County alone (where Gaffney is located) produced more peaches per year than the entire state of Georgia (known as the "Peach State"). Since its construction, the Peachoid's extremely high visibility has introduced an element of tourism to the local economy, and a smaller (500,000 U.S. gallons, 1.9 million litres) peachoid has been built for Clanton, Alabama by the same company.
In popular culture
- The Peachoid was a focal plot point in the Netflix original series House of Cards episode "Chapter 3", whereupon it is jokingly remarked that the structure resembles large buttocks or female genitalia. The series' protagonist Frank Underwood, a native of Gaffney, keeps a photo of the Peachoid in his home office.
- "Peachoid Water Tower". Emporis. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Peachoid Water Tower, Gaffney, South Carolina". Roadside America.
- "Big Peach Water Tower, Clanton, Alabama". Roadside America.
- Stephen Largen (19 March 2013). "Upstate town’s giant peach is ripe for fame on Netflix drama 'House of Cards'". The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- Chris Jancelewicz (26 February 2013). "House Of Cards Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Just Peachoid". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 February 2014.