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Chicago Water Tower

Updated on February 19, 2008

Water Tower- Chicago

W.W. Boyington is the one responsible for designing the Water Tower of Chicago in 1869, which is located on the Old Chicago Water Tower landmark district, located in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to being a water tower, it is the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau Visitor's Welcome Center.

The tower is made of joliet limestone, and is 154 feet tall. Inside the tower, there is a 138 foot high standpipe that holds water.

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Chicago Water Tower gained its notoriety. Since the fire, the Chicago Water Tower has become a symbol of the city's recovery.

Chicago's Water Supply

Before the Chicago Water Tower was built, Chicago had pretty bad water. I mean, think about it, they pumped their water from the Chicago River, which was, also, the city sewer. ...Nasty... But, after Boyington designed the water tower, he fully equipped the design with them means to make Chicago's water clean. It would pump through from Lake Michigan, which meant that the city wouldn't need to pump the nasty water from the Chicago River.

Why is the tower so important to Chicago?

Well, if you didn't guess from before, when I mentioned that before the water tower, Chicago's drinking water was just nasty, then I'll tell you know... The most important reason for the Chicago Water Tower was to improve drinking water conditions for the city by bringing in water from a different source other than the Chicago River.

Currently, the tower is still just as important, as it is one of the few buildings in that particular area of Chicago that has made it through the great Chicago Fire, making the water tower a historical landmark.

... In Conclusion

The Chicago Water Tower, has made great improvements to the city, and its inhabitants. Without the water tower, the drinking water may still be filtered through from the Chicago River. Well, probably not with today's standards, but you never know... The great monument holds the symbol to the city's recovery after the devastating fire in 1871, so as it stands tall into the sky, the people of Chicago can look at it with pride.


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    • DLB777 profile image

      DLB777 9 years ago from Arizona

      That's an awesome looking water tower! Most look like round tanks on a stick, with an occasional smiley face. Very cool!