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North Point Tower Restoration Project

Exterior facade

  • Replace three stone finials to match original with historically appropriate materials
  • Repair and replace ornate stone façade, repair cracked stone,tuckpoint mortar
  • Restore and paint wood window frames; replace glass


  • Replace worn cast iron floor plates with galvanized iron plates
  • Interim repair to selected parts of cast iron staircase
  • Repair brick masonry

Cost:  $245,760    
The project received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission.Repairs and materials match historic architecture, materials and construction.

The North Point Tower was part of the original Milwaukee Water Works, which began pumping water from Lake Michigan on Sept. 14, 1874. The “works” consisted of an intake in the lake, two steam engines in a pumping station on the shoreline below the hill; an iron standpipe that absorbed pulsations from the reciprocating steam engines, the Kilbourn Reservoir, and 58 miles of water main.The standpipe was covered by this Victorian Gothic tower.The tower ended service in 1963, when the steam pumps were replaced by electric pumps, which now deliver purified lake water from the Linnwood Water Treatment Plant. At one time, there were more than 500 such towers across the United States. Only 12 remain, the iconic North Point Tower.

This visual landmark has been recognized by the Milwaukee Landmarks Commission (1968), the Historic American Building Survey (1969), National Landmark of the American Water Works Association (1969), National Register of Historic Places (1973), and City of Milwaukee Historic Designation (1986).


Project coordinators determined the weather vane could fall and pose a safety hazard. On June 27, a crane was used to allow the contractor to reach the weather vane and lift it and the steel pole on which it swung from the peak of the roof.

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