Catch the view when Highland Park’s historic water tower opens to the public

Visitors can climb the 151 steps of St. Paul’s Highland Park water tower in just a few weeks to experience the views of the Mississippi River and Twin Cities area.

As a part of Highland Fest, the tower’s deck will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 21 and 22. The weekend is one of two times a year the tower is open.

The St. Paul Regional Water Services, host of the free event, will have an educational booth about municipal water services in the base of the tower. St. Paul utility employees will also attend to answer questions and educate visitors about water preservation.

The tower, near the intersection of Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway in St. Paul, has stood in Highland Park since 1928. During the event, guests can view several of the tower’s original blueprints.

Clarence Wigington, the tower’s architect, designed other notable Twin Cities structures, including the pavilions at Como Park and Harriet Island and several Winter Carnival ice castles. He also is recognized for being the first African-American architect for the city of St. Paul.

Jodi Wallin, public information officer for Regional Water Services, recommends bringing binoculars and a camera. On clear days visitors can see the Carlson Towers in the west metro all the way to the St. Croix River in the east.

The tower also is scheduled to open Oct. 13 to 14 for a viewing of the area’s fall foliage.

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