Washburn Park Water Tower

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






Address: 401 Prospect Avenue

Neighborhood: Tangletown

Construction Date: 1931-1932

Architect: Harry Wild Jones

Engineer: William S. Hewitt

Sculptor: John K. Daniels

Architectural Style: Medieval Revival

Historic Use: Public - Water Tower

Current Use: Public – Storage

Date of Local Designation: 1980

Date of National Register Designation: 1983

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; engineering

Period of Significance: 1900 -

Historic Profile: The Washburn Park Water Tower was the cooperative venture of three individually distinguished men in their respective fields. Harry Wild Jones, the architect, was responsible for several other notable structures including the Butler Square Building and the Lakewood Cemetery Chapel. The water tower sculptures were designed by John K. Daniels, a well known local artisan, who also designed the milling figures on the Washburn Flour Mills Utility Building. The consulting engineer, William S. Hewitt, was the inventor of the Hewitt System of reinforced concrete construction. The Washburn Tower suggests a strong medieval feeling; its cylindrical dome is like a Roman warrior’s helmet. Eight hooded knights surround the tower in perpetual vigilance while, overhead, eight eagles stand, as if pausing in flight, atop the evenly spaced pilasters. The 110-foot structure held 1.35 million gallons of water and provided water pressure to the surrounding neighborhood until the 1990's. The water tower remains an excellent example of the use of artistic design features in a public works facility.

Photo Credits:

1951, Ver Keljik, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," August 1981.

Updated: February 2007, March 2018

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505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415