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Ypsilanti Water Tower

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1889–1890, W. R. Coats, engineer; Seirn B. Cole, construction contractor. Bounded by N. Summit St. and Washtenaw and W. Cross aves.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

This 147-foot-high water tower is a landmark in Ypsilanti and was nationally recognized in 1975 as an American Water Works Association Landmark. Appropriately, the tower shares the triangular site with a bust of Demetrius Ypsilanti carved by Christopher Natsio. The enormous weight of water held in the 225,000-gallon steel tank is borne by the rock-faced, squared Ionia sandstone cylinder, the walls of which are 40 inches thick at the base and which decrease in thickness to 24 inches at the top. Resting on the rim of this stone cylinder is a steel-beam floor carrying the tank and the timber shell of the dome. Originally, the dome was topped with an octagonal cupola. The exterior walls of the tower are clad with Joliet limestone. The water tower remains a part of the city's water system. It underwent a major renovation in the early 1980s.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Ypsilanti Water Tower", [Ypsilanti, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 152-152.

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