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Friday, 24 April 2009

Winning water tower postcard

This image is of an American Water Tower by Lowestoft based artist Clare Johnson.

It is called Heart of Clark Street. The original tower is off Clark St in downtown Chicago, USA.

It is a screen print with a mono print tint. It is 66 x 59 cms framed.

The picture has been selected to be part of the Eastern Open's postcard set. They only chose ten in all from the exhibition to become postcards.

The Eastern Open is a well established exhibition celebrating its 40th anniversay this year. Based at the Arts Centre in Kings Lynn, the exhibition is sponsored by Arts Council England, Norfolk County Council and West Norfolk Council.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Sternschanze, Hamburg, Germany (1910)

We feature one of the three surviving water towers in Hamburg, that once boasted 43. This huge tower has been tastefully converted into the luxury Mövenpick hotel, with 226 rooms and opened on the 17th June 2007.

This water tower is currently the German international water-tower Society's "Tower of the Month" and features on the cover of the April edition of Der Wasserturm.

After the fire of Hamburg in 1841 destroyed the city, British engineer William Lindley was employed to rebuild the water system. In 1863 he built he subterranean reservoir in Sternschanzen Park that was decommissioned in March 1905. Between 1907 and 1910 the 189 ft tall, 105 ft diameter, octagonal brick water tower was built on the site at a cost of 697,000 gold marks. Designed by the architect Wilhelm Schwarz, it was at the time, the largest water tower in Europe. The tower contained two dished water storage tanks located one above the other. After World War II, when its roof was partially destroyed by bombs, the water tower returned to use but Hamburg’s water authorities stopped using the water tower in 1956 and it was finally decommissioned in 1961.

Ernest-Jo Storr from Munich, purchased the tower on 16th July, 1990 for DM 39,200. In 1993 Patrizia Project Development GmbH to came up with the proposed conversion of the tower into a hotel, designed by Falk von Tettenborn. The original roof was to be lifted off by crane, with the intention of re-using it. The steel roof was in too poor a condition and had to be dismantled. The internals were removed and a new reinforced concrete core was poured with a sliding shuttering at the rate of 5.5” per hour, over a period of 18 days. The floors made of pre-cast concrete, were then lifted into the tower, they are supported by the former supports for the water-tanks. Much of the Façade has been retained, the provision of emergency elevator, independent of the hotel’s power supply system, negated the need for an external emergency staircase. A new roof was rebuilt in concrete and steel, resembling the original roof, but with more windows. The conversion, incorporated the older covered reservoir, where the hotel lobby is now situated, took approximately two years. Located in Sternschanzen Park, a kilometre northwest of Hamburg’s city centre at 53º 31’ 53” North, 9º 58’ 14” East, capacity 1,000,000 gallons.

Photographs of the interior, from when it was still a water tower, may be found on the ALOYS KIEFER FOTOGRAFIE web site. If your web browser has the QuickTime Plug-in, some amazing 360º views can be seen at the 360º VR-PANORAMA site.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Take a Michigander...

Artist Michele Maule is a painter and illustrator who lives in Pontiac, Michigan (Go Blue!) USA with her boyfriend Michael and her Boston terrier Chloe. She hails from Portland, Oregon. She recently decided to become an artist full time.
The images are of towers seen on trips to New York and Oregon.

You can buy her art from here or read her blog

Tower Opening in Saint Louis, Missouri USA

If you like getting high, the city of St. Louis is blessed with many places to do it. There's the Gateway Arch and the corinithan standpipe in Water Tower Park and the Compton Hill Water Tower which is now open to the public every Saturday from April to November 2009.

Now it's called a water tower but it is in fact a standpipe but we're not going to be too purist about this fine example of French Romanesque architecture. Once over 400 such water towers (& standpipes) punctuated the skylines of American cities and towns. St. Louis can claim three of the seven remaining in the United States. All St. Louis' water towers have been declared Historical Landmarks.

image from wikipedia

The Compton Hill Water Tower at Grand and Russell Boulevards was opened for service in 1899. At 179 feet, the towe dominates South Grand Boulevard. The tower had to be closed to the public in 1984 when it was discovered that asbestos surrounded the metal tank in the tower's core. For more than ten years the water tower stood untouched and deterioration took over.

More information about the tower here

More info about the openings:

Tower Openings - The Water Tower and Park Preservation Society, Compton Hill Water Tower, Saint Louis Missouri

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Water Towers, A Lifelong Passion

This image is from the blog of Andrea Stern, an American quilter with a passion for water towers.

Her wonderful work truly speaks for itself. There's more on her blog:

Another one bites the dust...

The historic Imperial Tobacco plant water tower in Greenville South Carolina USA has been pulled down after standing for 72 years. The tower had been destabilized by a fire that destroyed most of the empty complex on April 16, 2008.

After eight months of planning, project foreman Jimmy Davis of Biggs Brothers Construction spent several days choreographing the maneuver that toppled the tower.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Melton Constable, Norfolk (1898)

Melton Constable was a railway town and known as “the Crewe of North Norfolk”. Just as the residents of Merredin, Western Australia benefited from a water supply from the railway way water tower, Melton Constable had piped water supplied by the Midland and Great Northern Railway Company.
The M & GN Railway Company had its headquarters in Melton Constable and built the cast iron water tower in 1898 to supply the locomotives, the vast engineering works and the town. It consists of three conjoined tanks formed in bolted plate sections standing on a platform of cast iron columns with diagonal tension bracing. Each of the tank's 256 external panels was cast with the company’s initials embossed. The tower is still standing - next to the Melton Road, just off the B1354 at O.S. Grid Ref TG 04117 32920 and is currently used for irrigation and I understand that it has a Roll Royce pump. It has a capacity of 125,000 gallons.