Friday, June 27, 2014

#128: Compton Hill Water Tower

One of three historic standpipe water towers in St. Louis still left standing....the others are at Bissell and Grand Avenue. There are actually seven of those kind still standing in the United States alone. One of them being in Chicago, off of Michigan Avenue. But enough about Chicago. Read on:

  • Stands 179 feet tall
  • 198 iron steps lead to the top of the tower from the bottom!
  • The tower was designed by Harvey Ellis, who was known for working on the Head House at St. Louis Union Station, as well as City Hall. 
  • In 1929, the water tower ended its service. In later years it would be opened to the public for tours until 1984 (due to safety reasons).
  • In 1998, a $19 million project for renovating the tower took place, and the place was alive again, welcoming visitors who wanted to see a great 360 degree view of St. Louis.

A view from the Interstate 44 exit
Entry way into the tower

Three weeks after I visited the tower, I took in the opportunity to go up in the tower, as it has limited tours. It was a humid July evening, but at the top of the tower, it was a cool breeze I tell you!

Just a peek to the south....

Highway 44 and that chunk of skyline in the back is Clayton

And I couldn't leave out the Anheuser-Busch buildings

The thing accompanying the tower. And don't forget the St. Louis skyline in the back!

A view of the central part of the city (the road is Grand)
And I can't leave out the 'Naked Truth' sculpture, which is located at the Compton Hill Reservoir Park. It has always been controversial, because of its frontal nudity view, and its got some history attached to it. Short version of the story: In 1914, a guy from Berlin named Wilhelm Wandschneider was a well-known sculptor who won the contest (mostly funded by Adolphus Busch) for a statue honoring German journalists in not just St. Louis but America. Officials were not amazed by the jury's winner selection, but by the time Wandschneider came to St. Louis to claim his prize money, it was too late. It was crafted in bronze to minimize the nudity.
And, interestingly enough, someone with my surname (Voigt), was one of the board of directors, rubbing shoulders with the Busch family. My name is not-so common around here, so I'm not sure if I'm related to this guy or not....
The Naked Truth statue
A historical marking about the Naked Truth statue
Here are the sides of the cake, that were painted by Genevieve Esson: (the cake was placed above ground)
Back side of the cake

Left side of the cake

Right side of the cake

Compton Hill Water Tower Park & Preservation Society on FB
Wikipedia link

1900 South Grand Boulevard, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63104
Cake artist: Genevieve Esson

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