Kalamazoo State Hospital Water Tower

Oakland Dr., Kalamazoo, Michigan

Brick water tower located in the center of a state hospital complex.

Photos 

Overview of tower location.

The Water Tower is located within a courtyard in the center of the Kalamazoo State Hospital. Photo taken from Oakland Drive entrance.

Photo taken by Nathan Holth in June 2010

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Information About This Historic Site 

From Michigan Historic Sites Online

Property Type water tower
Historic Use INDUSTRY/PROCESSING/EXTRACTION
Current Use INDUSTRY/PROCESSING/EXTRACTION
Style Other
Architect/Builder William B. Stratton

Narrative Description
The Kalamazoo State Hospital Water Tower is a smooth brick cylinder of medieval fortress inspiration, with a slight projection at the top where the reservoirs and their surrounding curtain wall form an overhang. The overhang is supported by brackets and has a crenelated wall at the top. Above the reservoir area a "look-out" structure projects upward. This section has a steeply pitched roof covered with copper sheeting. Gable dormers at the topmost level are ornamented with pierced wood vergeboards. The tower complements the design of surrounding hospital buildings.

Statement of Significance
More than a strictly functional structure, the Kalamazoo State Hospital Water Tower is a local landmark and an integral part of the Kalamazoo State Hospital. The tower has a long tradition of service to both the hospital and surrounding community, providing water and fire protection. The well-known Detroit architect William Buck Stratton designed the tower, which was completed in 1895. The original slate roof was replaced with copper sheeting in 1964 due to lightning damage and a full renovation was completed in the 1970s which has kept the tower operational.

Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1895, 1964
Registry Type(s) 03/16/1972 National Register listed
Site ID# P23650

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1972
Reference number
72000624
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Water works
Current function
Water works
Period of significance
1850-1874
Significant year
1859

Update Log 

  • July 11, 2010: Essay added by Nathan Holth
  • June 30, 2010: New photos from Nathan Holth
  • June 25, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Corrected GPS, Added General Info

Sources