City collecting bids for Compton Hill Water Tower study
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A push to restore and preserve the Compton Hill Water Tower has taken an important step this month.
The city has collected bids for an architectural study into the structure, which has been closed to the public since 2019 due to issues with bricks and stone falling off the tower.
A city spokesperson said the bid would take two to three months to consider.
The Water Tower and Park Preservation Society has been behind an effort to preserve the tower, including a fundraising push.
The structure was built in 1898, one of the last remaining standpipe towers in the country and one of three in St. Louis. Such towers were not designed for water storage. Instead, they served as pressure regulators for the city’s networks of pipes.
Michael Allen, the director of the National Building Arts Center, said the city could have torn it down when it went out of commission nearly a century ago. Instead, the structure and its observation deck became a landmark for tourists looking for a 360-degree view of the city.
Allen was optimistic that community support and private funding would eventually help restore the tower and bring back public access.
“It’s going to take community fundraising and groups coming together. That could take some time, but I think it will lead to people back in the tower in the next few years,” he said.
People in the neighborhood have also been hopeful for the tower’s repairs.
Tom Burnham, who visits the park at least once a day to walk his dog, described it as an iconic landmark for South City.
“It’s an identity marker. It’s just magnificent, as tall as it is,” he said.
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