Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to get inside the majestic, fairytale-esque North Point Water Tower, located on an 80-foot bluff between North Lake Drive and Lake Michigan.
Unfortunately, the public is not permitted inside anymore – not even pesky OnMilwaukee.com reporters who beg and plead – but the Milwaukee Water Works folks were kind enough to share information and photos of the water tower with me.
So, here's the deal. Charles A. Gombert designed the 175-foot, Victorian Gothic style water tower, which was built in 1873 and cost $50,892. It is made from cream-colored "Wauwatosa cut" limestone and Cream City bricks.
The North Point Water Tower was constructed as an essential component of the system. The standpipe it covered relieved the pulsations caused by the pumping engines, which, in turn, reduced pressure on the water mains and minimized breakage.
However, by 1963, modern pumping equipment replaced the system and the water tower was taken out of service. The original pump station – as well as the "new" one constructed in 1963 – is at the base of the hill just below the tower.
In 1968, the Milwaukee Landmark Commission identified the tower as an official landmark.
Today, it continues to serve as a night beacon for lake shipping. It remains one of Milwaukee's most recognizable structures as well as a symbol of our precious, abundant water supply. I have not completely given up on getting inside the tower someday to fulfill some sort of Rapunzel fantasy, but for now, I am satisfied to enjoy it – in all of its Gothic splendor – from the outside.
Preferably, from the lakefront with a dish of custard in my hand.
By the time I registered to comment and wrote my rant about fixing the "'" problem, I forgot about my original reason for commenting. I want to thank you for this interesting story and the great photos of the North Point Water Tower- truly one of Milwaukee's greatest treasures.
But, OnMilwaukee.com, don't forget to work on the "'" problem. Thanks.
How about OnMilwaukee.com finding a way to get rid of " 's " ,which appears frequently on your website. Don't you have a computer whiz on staff who can eliminate that nuisance? Many thanks!
Some nice historic photos, including one with a cow in front of the Water Tower (!) at: http://hwtn.org/photo-gallery/water-tower-water-tower-park/
more information on the tower and system:
Whenever we drive past along the Lake, I always tell my son to wave at the princess who is waving at him from the tower. I think he actually sees her (in his imagination anyway.;)
Show me the other 2 Talkbacks
7 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published Aug. 28, 2015
Recently, South Shore Terrace - an outdoor drinking and snacking space attached to South Shore Park's pavilion - joined the seemingly-and-hopefully-ever-growing collection of Milwaukee beer gardens.
Published Aug. 27, 2015
A new bar and restaurant concept is coming to the North Avenue bar scene next week when business partners Jay Stamates and Steve Gilbertson open The Winchester in the former Two Bucks space, 2321 N. Murray Ave.
Published Aug. 25, 2015
Anyone who's visited the South Shore Farmers' Market has most likely heard John Miller cranking out sweet sounds from his barrel organ - sometimes called a street organ. This past Sunday was Miller's last local performance for awhile. He leaves Thursday for a 3 1/2-year pipe organ builder's apprenticeship in Kürten, Germany.
Published Aug. 24, 2015
A Chicago-based organization announced a #WhereKindnessCounts competition to reward people $100 for doing acts of kindness. It's time to get even kinder, Milwaukee.
Published Aug. 22, 2015
The fact that a Shorewood resident named Eric "Shake" James and Darryl McDaniels from the legendary hip hip group Run-DMC opened a shoe boutique called Clicks, 1916 E. Capitol Dr., is a compelling story. The fact that McDaniels was at Clicks today, casually meeting fans, signing autographs and telling stories, is even more unbelievable.
Published Aug. 20, 2015
Last month, OnMilwaukee.com reported on Alana Wooldrige's missing dog, Fenrir, a pitbull she adopted in New Orleans who disappeared from her yard on July 21. After weeks of searching, social media posts and daily interactions with various animal organizations, Alana and Fen were reunited tonight.
Published Aug. 20, 2015
Today, there are more than 9,000 Aldi stores in 18 countries, and 20 in the metro-Milwaukee area. Here are 10 reasons to shop there. And a couple reasons not to.
Published Aug. 19, 2015
Jason McBrady and coworkers will open High Dive in the former Impala Lounge and Riverhorse space at 701 E. Center St. A grand opening party is set for Saturday.
Published Aug. 18, 2015
Because of the popularity of the restaurant, TomKen's Friendly Fried Chicken will undergo a major renovation and expansion project that started quietly this week and will, hopefully, conclude in October. Don't worry, Wing Night isn't going anywhere.
Published Aug. 17, 2015
Is this old school piece of playground equipment dangerous or fun or both?