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Water Works Park Standpipe


Water Works Park Standpipe
Waterworks Park Standpipe, Water Works Park Surge Tower

Structure in General

water tower
demolished [destroyed]
renaissance revival


water distribution


  • The pipe within the tower runs 124 feet up the tower; the next 61 feet include the observation deck and decorative crown.
  • Upon its completion, the tower was found to have a major design flaw. The architect had forgot to design a heating system for the tower for the winter, requiring a makeshift coal-burning stove to be built inside of the tower often making the air in the tower unbreathable.
  • The stand-pipe functioned as a water tower only for 17 years. By 1893, the City of Detroit had expanded its water system building multiple pumps making the standpipe obsolete.
  • Though decommissioned in 1893 as a stand-pipe, the tower stood as a tourist attraction for another 69 years. In 1945, the Detroit City Council deemed the tower unrepairable and unsafe, and it was torn down in 1962 at a cost of $17,000.
  • This brick tower contained a winding, iron staircase containing 202 steps, which lead to an observation deck offering sweeping views of the city and river for miles around.
  • The tower's design was a Victorian theme with Oriental motiffs decorating the crown.
  • The highly decorative tower functioned as a stand-pipe, which was used to keep water pumping into Detroit's water mains at equal pressure.

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More Information


1299 Marquette Drive
1299 Marquette Drive
Belle Isle

Technical Data

185.00 ft
185.00 ft

Involved Companies

Joseph E. Sparks
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