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.
“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.