Prospect Park Water Tower

You can read about the history and designation of the Prospect Park Water Tower historic landmark.






Address: 55 Malcolm Avenue Southeast

Neighborhood: Prospect Park

Construction Date: 1914

Engineer: F.W. Cappelen

Architect: Undetermined

Architectural Style: 20 th Century Revivals

Historic Use: Public – Water Storage

Current Use: Public - Storage

Date of Local Designation: 1984

Date of National Register Designation: 1997

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; Community Planning

Period of Significance: 1906-1914

Historic Profile: Affectionately known as the "Witch’s Hat," the Prospect Park Water Tower acts as a unique visual landmark identifying the surrounding community. Situated at the highest elevation in Minneapolis, it was originally built in 1914 to improve water pressure for the hilly Prospect Park neighborhood but no longer stores water. City engineer F.W. Cappelen designed the water tower to be a metal tank interior standing 320 feet tall with a holding a capacity of 150,000 gallons of water. The tower is crowned with a conical cap of steeply pitched green tile which acts as a roof. Directly beneath the roof, an octagonal Romanesque-arched belvedere surrounds the tower top, giving it a medieval feel. The water tower served the neighborhood until 1952 before advancements in technology rendered it obsolete. While the observation deck is only open one day a year, the tower still stands as a symbol and a source of pride for the Prospect Park neighborhood.

Photo Credits:

1915, Charles J. Hibbard, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," December 1983.

Updated: February 2007, March 2018

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505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
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