During the 1960s, Robert Eastman used to look out the kitchen window of his Port Kembla home and marvel at the construction of the suburb's iconic stack.
Metre by metre the reinforced concrete structure stretched towards the sky until it was completed in 1965, measuring a towering 198 metres.
For the next 49 years it was a constant in Mr Eastman's life - and in less than eight days it will be gone.
The 89-year-old, who has campaigned fiercely to save the structure, said the stack was an astonishing feat of engineering that should be preserved.
"I could see it being built from my kitchen window and I marvelled at it," he said.
"Twelve and a half thousand tonnes standing straight up in the air is a pretty clever bit of engineering.
"I, and the majority of the people who live in Port Kembla, love our magnificent stack and wish to see it retained."
The stack could be dedicated as a memorial to 95 years of copper production on the site or transformed into a unique canvas for indigenous art, he said.
Without it, the Port Kembla community would lose the essence of its identity.
"When you see it every day you form a [connection] with it," Mr Eastman said.
"It's what makes Port Kembla - if we haven't got a stack we're not Port Kembla any more."
Mr Eastman said he would be too disgusted to watch the icon being toppled on February 20.