Mystery Tower

highland photo

When I am in the Highland Park area, I always notice this large tower when driving down Snelling Avenue. I never knew what it was…it looks sorta like a prison watch tower. Today I was very curious, so instead of driving by, I decided to stop and sketch it. I liked the cream-colored bricks, the tile roof, and copper accents. I did the sketch top to bottom and added the trees in last, then added watercolor. It even looked like it had little animal heads sticking out below the roof line. I wondered who would look out of this mystery tower. Around me in the parking lot were huge round light blue water towers. That should have give me a clue! Unfortunately I was still daft and had to rely on my cellphone and Wikipedia to learn more about this tower. It was the Highland Park Water Tower! Designed by Clarence W. Wigington, the nation’s first African-American municipal architect and built in 1928. The tower is 127 feet and has a capacity of 200,000 gallons of water. It looked so ornate, I have a hard time imagining it holding water. I think it would be nice if all our towers looked like that today, brick instead of light blue. Anyway, I had fun, and it’s sometimes interesting to sketch something that is a mystery to you. I learned something today I didn’t know before!


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