Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, November 14, 2010, pg. 6
In Crowell Park sits our water tower in its "really needs-to-be-repainted" condition. This tower provides Albion with the good water pressure needed for our water supply needs across town. Before our water tower was erected in 1961, however, Albionís water pressure was provided by a 134-foot high "standpipe" which stood just north of todayís water tower.
The standpipe was erected in 1889 in the northeast part of the park, and had a diameter of 12 feet. 1889 was the year that Albion instituted a municipal water system. Back then the city water supply came from pumps at the Cass St. pumping station located in the brick building which later became the Albion Recycling Center in the 1970s. The location of Crowell Park (then known as Washington Park) was chosen for the standpipe because it had the highest elevation in the city. This provided a water pressure of 80 pounds to the square inch. With Albion booming in the 1950s and water usage at an all-time high, the standpipe water pressure was insufficient and thus our present-day water tower was erected.
The configuration of the standpipe was not the most sanitary. It had a somewhat open top, and youth would occasionally scale the tower ladder and clandestinely swim in the water. In addition, an occasional bird would sometimes die in the water. Its body would sink into the Albion water supply, and be sucked into the water system where it would be stopped by a filter at some location. In the early 20th century a decorative garden was maintained around the standpipe
Following the completion of our present-day water tower, the old standpipe was toppled on February 26, 1962 after a half dayís work.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1910 postcard showing the entire standpipe. The caption reads "Water Tower Park." Notice the location of the steps leading to N. Superior St. and the standpipe. How many of our readers remember the standpipe in Crowell Park?
1910 postcard of the Water Tower Park, showing Standpipe
All text copyright, 2013 © all rights reserved Frank Passic