Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
By Jael Batty
From globes to lighthouses, historical and refurbished water towers around the world are eye-catching landmarks.
Countless Unique Water Towers
Water towers have been painted with flags, globes, and smiley faces. There are baseball towers, golf ball towers, and even an eight-ball tower (Tipton, Missouri). A Groucho Marx water tower is located in Limestone, Maine. A depiction of Kermit the Frog has been painted on the water tower in Kermit, Texas. The Rosemont water tower in Chicago resembles a rose. In Niles, Illinois, the water tower is a representation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Earthoid water tank in Germantown, Maryland, is an artistic rendering of the planet’s oceans, complete with typhoons.
Water Towers that Look Like Food
There’s an apple water tower in Jackson, Ohio; a peach in Gaffney, South Carolina; a strawberry in Poteet, Texas; a pumpkin in Circleville, Ohio. Luling, Texas, recognizes the watermelon industry with its watermelon water tower and annual Watermelon Thump celebration. In Rochester, Minnesota, a corn cob water tower––painted to show the correct number of kernels per row–– has been upgraded with nightlights. A water tower in Lakeland, Florida, looks like a birthday cake, complete with candles.
The largest bottles of ketchup and of bourbon are in Collinsville, Illinois, and Louisville, Kentucky, respectively. Westminster, Colorado, features a water tank decorated with the Savery Savory Mushrooms label. There is a can of Sprite in Cincinnati, Ohio; a Campbell’s soup can in Camden, New Jersey; and a can of Libby’s fruit salad in Sunnyvale, California. The Dixie cup water tower is in Lexington, Kentucky. In honor of actress Virginia Christine, Stanton, Iowa, erected two water towers––one that looks like a teacup and the other, a coffee pot. Representing its sister city, Tingsryd, Sweden, the town of Lindström, Minnesota, features a teapot water tower.
Water Towers Across the Sea
Similarly, a Swedish coffee pot water tower represents Kingsburg, Sweden. House in the Clouds is a water tower disguised to look like the local buildings in Thorpeness, Suffolk. It once included a home and is now a bed and breakfast. An historic water tower in Berlin looks like a black lighthouse. In Saudi Arabia, the Al Khobar water tower that sits on an island lights up purple and green at night. It is a tourist attraction that houses a restaurant and a viewing balcony as well as the city water supply. The striped Riyadh water tower in Saudi Arabia also features a restaurant and an observation deck. Groups of blue striped “mushroom towers” in Kuwait are similar in appearance to the Riyadh tower. The spherical Kuwait towers, which were built by the same Swedish engineering company, feature a coffee house and ballroom. The pyramid-shaped Svanke water tower on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, was inspired by old navigational symbols. In Kizu, Japan, the spiral Kizumanami water tower, which closely resembles the Al Mulwiya mosque of Samarra, was inspired by the regional bamboo.
A Tribute to Water Towers
The non-functional, stained-glass Water Tower that sits on a rooftop in Brooklyn, New York, is a tribute to the rooftop water towers in New York City. Sculptured from salvaged plexiglass and steel, it is lit by sunlight during the day and features light shows at night. It’s a stunning reminder of the importance of clean, sustainable water.
What does your water tower look like? Does it have an interesting history? Let us know what unique water towers you’ve seen during your travels.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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