Repairs and Restoration of North Point Water Tower to be Completed in Spring 2017

UPDATE Dec. 2, 2016

The Milwaukee Water Works is reporting that its contractor found cracks in the stone finial during the carving process. A new piece had to be supplied and carved.

As a result, the cold weather now will not allow the work to proceed. Completion of the stone work including finials will proceed in the spring when weather permits, guessing mid-April. The upper portion of the tower is competed. There remains approximately 2 weeks of masonry work on the project. Soon the scaffolding and swing stage will be removed from the tower as that work is complete.


 


ORIGINAL ARTICLE Oct. 2016

Exterior and interior repairs and restoration on the North Point Water Tower will be completed by Dec. 9, 2016, according to an Oct. 28  letter from Milwaukee Water Works Superintendent Carrie M. Lewis.

In the letter, Lewis says that repairs began May 9 and have included —

  • Interior: Tuck pointing, repairs and cleaning of brick; replacement of original cast iron floor plates with galvanized plates, and
  • Exterior: Masonry work, replacement of damaged brick, painting and sealing of wood windows.

At the end of the project, three new stone finials will be installed.

According to a fascinating Water Works history of the 175-foot water tower — which includes a photo of a cow, yes, a cow, grazing in front of the tower —  it was first put into service in September 1874.

Repairs underway this month (October 2016)

Repairs underway this month (October 2016)

“The decorative stonework of the tower housed a tall standpipe, open at the top, that absorbed pulsations of water from the reciprocating steam-driven engines in the pumping station below,” the history says. “The station and the tower served for 50 years as the sole source of lake water into the distribution system.”

Historic Water Tower Neighborhood greatly appreciates the maintenance and preservation work being done on our namesake and treasured city icon. We wish to thank Mayor Tom Barrett, DPW Commissioner Ghassan Korban, Superintendent Lewis and Ald. Nik Kovac for their support of making this possible.

Public Information Meeting About Lake Park’s Ravine Road Bridge Tuesday May 17

Milwaukee County Parks, GRAEF, and UW-Milwaukee are hosting a public information meeting to present a current study for addressing the repair or replacement of the Ravine Road Bridge in Lake Park on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

Bridge copyDoors will open for the meeting at 5:30 p.m., and the presentation takes place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Room 110, 2131 E. Hartford Ave.

The presentation will include description of the bridge’s history, condition, options, current activities and plans moving forward.  All are welcome to attend and comment.

HWTN representatives are on the county’s work group established to review and provide input into three alternative replacement designs and cost estimates. See this story on HWTN’s website about the county’s plans for reviewing design options and this article about HWTN’s position, the county engineering study on the bridge’s condition and a discussion of the bridge’s history.

 

 

HWTN Co-Sponsors Free Historic Preservation, Oral History Talks in June

Historic Water Tower Neighborhood is pleased to be co-sponsoring two exciting lectures on preservation, storytelling and oral history this month. Each is free and open to the public:

  • Does Williamsburg Still Matter? Preservation and Storytelling in the 21st Century Lecture by Jeff Klee, Architectural Historian – Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
    • Event date: 6/14/2013. Time: 6:30-8:30PM Place: Villa Terrace Museum, 2220 N. Terrace Ave. Milwaukee.

  • “Messin’ in the Kitchen”: New Possibilities for Community Public/Oral History in the Digital Age Lecture by Michael H. Frisch, Professor of American Studies and History and Senior Research Scholar at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
    • Event date: 6/18/2013. Time: 6:30-8:30PM Place: North Point Lighthouse, 2650 N. Wahl Avenue, Milwaukee.

More details and a flyer for the events are available here.