Riverside Water Tower

Location:Riverside, Illinois
Client: The Village of Riverside
Project description: Built in 1870 and designed by the innovative architect William Le Baron Jenney, the original water tower is one of many elaborate Victorian Gothic structures built in early Riverside, Illinois. The turn of the century saw the addition of an attached pump house and two freestanding round well houses, but disaster struck on New Year's Eve 1913 when a raging fire burned the wooden water tank and the pump house below. A new metal tank and 20-foot masonry extension were hastily added in early 1914 to replace and improve the old reservoir and waterworks.

The bottom half of the tower, which survived the 1913 fire, has been restored to its original 1870 appearance. Blue-gray limestone details punctuate the common red brick, Milwaukee cream brick pilasters, and polychrome pointed arches. The original 1870 leaded glass windows were restored as well. Since the 1914 brick tower extension was built to be painted, a new breathable masonry coating was applied with a color scheme that corresponds to the 1870 base. The metal tower tank and balcony were painted in four shades of gray and blue-gray, highlighting the decorative features and corresponding to the new slate roofs installed on the lower pump house and well houses.

Services: Historic Restoration

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