One of St. Paul’s most scenic stair challenges will have to wait until 2021.
Due to concerns around the novel coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, the Highland Water Tower at Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway will not open to the public this October for its twice-annual open house. The July open house was also canceled.
The 127-foot tower was designed by Clarence “Cap” Wigington and completed in 1928 with Kasota and Bedford stone and a riveted steel-plate tank with a capacity of 200,000 gallons. Its 151-step circular stairway leads up to an observation deck offering a 360-degree view of the Twin Cities.
Wigington, a city architect from 1915 to 1949, also designed the Como Park Pavilion, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, the Holman Field Administration Building and other unofficial city and neighborhood landmarks.
The tower, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, is no longer in service. Video highlights of a self-guided tour are available online at tinyurl.com/WaterTower2020.