Erected in 1897, the Water Tower was built to alleviate the water shortage on the Iowa State campus, which in 1895 had forced the cancellation of classes for two weeks. Designed by Anson Marston (Dean of Engineering, 1914-1932) and others, the Water Tower was the first elevated steel water tower west of the Mississippi. Standing 168 feet above campus, the tank itself was 40 feet tall and 24 feet in diameter and held 162,000 gallons. The use of the Water Tower was discontinued in 1978 when the university switched to a city water system. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, and in 1997, it was restored.
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