Sunday, April 4, 2010
Day 323 included exploring the Compton Hill water tower. I "grew" up around it because my elementary school best friend lived nearby. We'd go there to sled in the winter.
The tower actually masks a standpipe that is 5 feet wide and 100 feet tall, which was revolutionary in the time for water delivery. It was built and put into service in 1899. It's 179 feet tall and built in French Romanesque style. One must climb 198 spiral steps to reach the top of the tower to enjoy the views.
The actual tower was retired in 1929, became a city landmark in 1966 and a national landmark in 1972. It was occasionally open to the public up until 1984 because of building deterioration. In 1999, the tower reopened after a four year renovation.
If you live in St Louis, or love great views (and can handle the climb), you should go see it. It's well-worth the $5 entry fee.
Information from the Compton Hill Water Tower brochure
Upon further research, I learned that there are only seven remaining towers like Compton Hill, and three of them are in St. Louis.
Check this out for more information.