Thank you for visiting today to read about the ongoing restoration story of our historical home. Chapters 5 is all about the well tower or water tower.
Before purchasing this house, I really didn’t know anything about well towers. I have never seen one. We call ours a well tower but they are also known as water towers. The height of the tower provides the pressure for the water supply system, and it may be supplemented with a pump. The well tower and house were built in 1912. The original well operated with a rod and sucker pump system.
This is the earliest picture we have of the well tower. Assuming it was taken in the late 1950s to early 1960s, it appears as if the well tower is painted white. I recently spoke with the son of a previous owner who said the well tower was non-functional back then.
When we purchased the house, the well tower was significantly deteriorated. The pump was dry and the building had a collapsed roof. The pigeons moved in and it was ankle-deep in pigeon poop. There was a funky shed attached. Such a sad building.
I certainly didn’t want to tear this unique building down, despite its condition. However, it needed lots of work. Since the entire top was rotted, it was easy to make the decision to remove and redesign the upper structure.
Our desire is to make this building usable. At the top, the views to Piestawa Peak are beautiful. But with no floor space and no windows, that view was wasted.
The tacky shed was removed too and a new window was put in its place. Historic preservation approved our plans to restore/renovate this structure.
The renovations included: new redwood clapboard, more windows to add light, two more levels connected by circular staircases, plumbing for my potting area, a tub to bathe the dogs and a fireman’s pole for easy exiting.
In addition, we gained permission from the Arizona Department of Water Resources to drill a new well.
The entire top section has 360 degree views through new Marvin windows. The trim is painted that same as the main house and the redwood siding is naturally stained. The fireman’s pole is accessed from the 2nd level through a small door. It is a fun attraction for all ages!
I hope you agree the restoration is a big improvement! To see the interior of the well tower, click here.
This is one of my favorite moody, holiday photos of the well tower with Cooper. Photo by Adam Peter in 2016.
If you missed the post about the potting shed located inside of the well tower, please click here.
Today we are enjoying the water benefits of having our own well. The water is clean enough to drink, however, we use it for landscape watering only. The pump draws water into a holding tank underground. Water is such a precious resource here in Phoenix and we are grateful we had the money and foresight to re-institute the well many years ago.
Wishing everyone a terrific Tuesday! I hope you have enjoyed the latest chapter in The Restoration Chronicles. To see previous chapters, click on the links below.
The Restoration Chronicles, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4.
This post shared with Between Naps on the Porch 599th Metamorphosis Mondays
michael brostek says
Hi Mary, enjoyed reviewing the water tower history. Amazing work and what a fun story, hopefully we can visit again soon! Be well.
Mary Crozier says
Mike, we’d love for you to visit. Anytime you are always welcomed!
Patricia Miller says
Mary, how wonderful, you had the the forth sight and money to recreate this for the future, it now is functional as well as historical