Monday, March 3, 2014

Water Towers

Existing American water towers are useful to represent the basic split between the two opposing architectures of the early twentieth century. One group of civic decision-makers (and their lackey-designers) assumed that a water tower ought to look like anything other than what it was. Better it should resemble a Renaissance fortress, a Gothic steeple, a Corinthian column, an Islamic spire, a French chateau 

Scituate, Massachusetts

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Detroit, Michicgan

Charleston, South Carolina

Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

The utilitarian, up-to-date, industrial-minded school thought the opposite, and their water towers could not easily be mistaken for anything other than what they were 

San Jose, California

Townsend, Delaware

Rantoul, Illinois

Elysian, Minnesota

Mercury, Nevada

Pemberton, New Jersey

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photographs from picture archives at the Library of Congress.