Located on one of the City’s highest elevations, this masterpiece of French Romanesque Revival architecture dates from 1898, when it housed a massive column of water that regulated the pressure entering the City’s fresh water system.
Long after water distribution methods changed, the 179-foot Compton Hill Water Tower has been preserved as a revered landmark on the City’s south side, being one of only seven such water towers remaining in the United States.
On the afternoons of the first Saturday of the month, from March to November, the public is welcome to climb the 198-step inside stairway to the upper-level observation deck and see open-window, all-direction views of city neighborhoods, the downtown Gateway Arch and nearby Illinois. The Tower also opens on the evenings of the monthly full moon, offering dramatic views of city lights and the full moon rising over the Illinois horizon. A collection of 60 photos on the inside Tower walls depict the construction and early years of this architectural gem. Also on-site is the bronze “Naked Truth” statue, commemorating German-language newspapering in St. Louis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Because of maintenance issues, public openings of the Tower have been temporarily cancelled. For the current status of public openings, please consult our website, www.watertowerfoundation.org.