Have you ever driven by any of the old water towers in St. Louis City? Did you know you can climb inside one of them?
The water tower on Grand Avenue at Reservoir Park (not far from Tower Grove Park) is open for tours twice a month.
The Water Tower is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month from April to November from Noon till 4 pm. It’s also open for a once a month evening tour during the full moon. You can climb to the top of the 170-foot tower and enjoy a spectacular, 360-degree view of the metropolitan St. Louis area that stretches as far as Illinois and the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.
The tour is $5 for adults, $3 for kids (under 5 are free) and there ARE stairs involved, this puppy was built in 1898!
So what are the water towers? Believe it or not, several of these towers were built back in the 19th century to help with St. Louis’ growing public water system. The are decorative coverings for huge five-foot wide stand pipes that helped with water pressure. The city didn’t want ugly pipes sticking up in neighborhoods, so they were camouflaged with pretty towers. Sort of like how we disguise cell phone towers these days.