Highland’s Tower Then and Now

A vital part of St. Paul’s water system, the Highland Park Water Tower rises 134 feet above the top of St. Paul second highest hill. Designed by the nation’s first African-American municipal architect, Clarence W. Wigington, the octagonal tower holds holds 200,000 gallons of water in a rivited steel tank. The exterior features brick and cut Kasota stone stone punctuated with little windows and topped with a Bedford stone observation deck and crowned by a cupola on a tiled roof. The forty foot base has a north side and west side entrances.

The beautiful structure is widely recognized as the only architecturally significant water tower in St. Paul. This is one of two historic water towers in the Twin Cities with an observation deck. The other is the Prospect Park Water Tower in Minneapolis. Construction of this St. Paul landmark was carried out by the Feyen Company and William Selby. The tower was completed in 1928 for a total cost of $69, 483. The Highland Park Water Tower is one of only a dozen or so Minnesota water towers to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The observation deck is open every year for the weekend of Highland Fest and the second weekend in October.

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