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Unusual, Intriguing Water Towers

Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams

There are some worldwide headquarters of evil corporations housed in some of them... just kidding.

Water towers can be found in many parts of the world, in all kinds of colours, shapes, sizes, decorations and designs. This time at Dark Roasted Blend, we take a look at just some of these fascinating structures, from the vintage and historic to the unusual, intriguing and simply bizarre, including some water towers that have even been turned into houses.

(stained glass water tower in Brooklyn, NY, project by Tom Fruin)

Collinsville, Illinois, is home to this gigantic Brooks Catsup bottle. The tower dates from 1949 and was built for the owners of the catsup bottling plant (left image below):

(images credit: Adam, Ann)

Right image above: Feel like a really big cup of coffee? In Lindstrom, Minnesota, the water tower first built over a century ago is shaped like a coffee pot. Swedish settlers founded the town back in the 1850s and the pot is inscribed with "Welcome to Lindstrom", in Swedish.

Perhaps inspired by the coffee pot design, this coffee cup water tower can be seen in Stanton, Iowa (left image below). On the right is a very nice way to welcome you to Ashley, Indiana - with a big smile:

(images credit: 3rd Sibling Photography, Janice)

This interesting globe design is in Germantown, Maryland (left image below). On the right is a tower used as an ad for Spicee Chikin, complete with two daredevil cows, in Atlanta:

(images credit: Jim Jenness, David Reed)

How about this strawberry water tower in Plant City, Florida? (left image below). And yet more gigantic fruit - this watermelon water tower can be seen in Luling, Texas (right image):

(images credit: Tony Scislaw, Richard Johnstone)

The Dole pineapple tower is quite well known, as it was formerly one of Honolulu’s landmarks from 1927 to 1993 (left image below). The rose design on the right is in Rosemont, Illinois:

(images credit: 1, 2)

Circleville, Ohio, hosts an annual festival known as The Pumpkin Show. A wide range of food items made from pumpkins including burgers, pies, donuts and more are on offer, so its not surprising that Circleville also has a pumpkin water tower (left image below). This corn water tower (right image) is located at the Libby Foods Plant in Rochester, Minnesota:

(images credit: Dianna Narotski, Mykl Roventine)

Also in Rochester, here we see how water towers have been around for quite a while. This is the College Hill water tower, built in 1924 (left image). The Chicago Water Tower (right image) was completed in 1869 and fortunately survived the Great Fire two years later:

(images credit: Jim, Thaddeus Roan)

Dating from around the same and also located in Illinois, this is the historic water tower in Riverside (left image below). The impressive structure in Louisville Kentucky (right image) is apparently the oldest ornamental water tower in the world, built in 1856:

(images credit: Joe Balynas, Sean Sebastian Photography)

In 2007, the Eye of Texas was an interactive digital video projection that took place in Austin using the water tower at the Green Water Treatment Plant (left image below, more info).

(images credit: John Anderson, Austin Chronicle, Metacitizen)

Right image above: Another example of digital eye projection, this time by Marcos Zotes in New York City, in 2011. The eye would actually rotate and follow you around... pretty unsettling experience (see video here).

On the other side of the world, there are some great classic examples of water towers. This one in Cuxhaven in Germany was built in 1897, and was in service until 2004 (left image below). Also in Germany, the water tower in Mittweida in Saxony dates from 1898 (right image):

(images credit: Wolfgang, 2)

This one can be found in Littlestone, England, built in 1890 by Henry T. Tubbs (left image). And this impressive tower is in Emden in Lower Saxony, Germany (right):

(images credit: Sam, Kaspar Bams)

This water tower in the small Danish town of Sakskobing sports a very friendly face (top left image, below). Another face was painted on a water tower in Ukraine, having somewhat frightening aspect to it (middle left image). The historic water tower in Ujpest, in Budapest, Hungary was built in the early years of the twentieth century to supply water to the suburbs of the city (right image):

(images credit: Sax Jensen, S. Storey)

The Drobeta-Turnu Severin Water Tower in Romania looks distinctly medieval but was built in the early twentieth century (left image below). The red brick water tower in Malbork, Poland (right image) dates from 1905:

(images credit: Kaspar Bams, Tomasz Przechlewski)

Since water can often be in short supply in the desert, it's not surprising to see this one, the Old Riyadh water tower, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (left image below). The ones seen on the right are in Kuwait and are something of a local landmark:

(images credit: 1, Mike Reffalt)

Also in Kuwait, the main tower has a revolving restaurant, no doubt with a reliable water supply (left image). The interesting tower on the right is located in Dubai:

(images credit: 1, 2)

And here are some water towers that people actually live in:

The House in the Clouds can be found in Thorpeness, Suffolk, in the UK. The structure was built in 1923 and designed to stylistically blend in with the local architecture, while disguising the water tank. In the late 70s, the water tower ceased being operational and the place was fully converted into a residence. This house has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and there are 68 steps. Hopefully, there’s a box at the base for the mailman to use every morning:

(images credit: Colin Barley, Karen Roe)

In Jaegersborg, near Copenhagen in Denmark, this 1950s water tower was redesigned and now serves as student residences:

(images credit: 1, 2)

In 2007 Bham Design Studio converted an old water tower (originally built in 1939) into a seven-story residence in small Belgian town of Steenokkerzeel:

(images via)

Sunset Beach Water Tower in California is over a hundred years old and was in use until 1974. It started being used as a residence in the mid 80s and is now rented out as a vacation home (left image below):

(images credit: John VanderHaagen, Tom Godber)

And finally, while not technically a residence, here’s the tower in Strenci, Latvia at a local psychiatric hospital (right image above). A chimney was added to an existing water tower built in the early twentieth century and apparently none of the hospital’s residents actually live in this very unusual house.




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Anonymous D. Des Chene said...

Of the seven standpipe towers in the US, three are in St. Louis: see Built St. Louis.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Solingen we have a somewhat different conversion.
The old watertower was slated for demolition, but an artist took over and replaced the tank with a glass structure, but keeping the old shape:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot the tower with an attitude: http://www.jwz.org/blog/2011/09/some-water-towers-just-want-to-watch-the-world-burn/

Blogger brian t said...

There's a great geometric tower on the campus of University College Dublin in Ireland. Do an image search for "UCD Water Tower" and it looks like this.

Anonymous johnleemedia said...

more Irish water towers at http://www.watertowersofireland.com/

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could you guys forget the water tower in Mannheim, it's officially the world's most beautiful water tower. Big disappointment!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's also a giant peach in Gaffney, South Carolina.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a small correction: the rose water tower is in Rosemont, Illinois, not Rose, Illinois.

Blogger Woody Enfermo said...

There's also one of the best places to live in Berlin:
It forgets to mention that it was a nazi interrogation site in WW2

Blogger KnoBrain3r said...

No collection of fruit-themed water towers is complete with the Clanton Peach in Clanton, Al http://blog.al.com/goforth/2007/02/peach_water_tower_clanton_alab.html

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Stanton, IA is the birthplace of Virginia Christine, "Mrs. Olson" of Folgers coffee commercials. There's also a matching coffee pot tower too by the way.

Anonymous round news said...

These towers look very much like the observation towers from the movie Man in Black.


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