Ypsilanti Water Tower, Michigan, USA
The tower was constructed in 1889-1990 as a part of city waterworks project. The architect of the building is William Coast. The height of the tower is 45 m; the base is 26 m. Thickness of the walls at the basement is about 1m, and on the top - 0.6 m. The tower was built from Joliet limestone. Inside the building there is a steel water reservoir that can hold 250 000 gallons of water (946 000 liters). The tower had two functions: it supplied the city with water as well as produced electricity for street lamps.
During the construction workers made 4 crosses to protect themselves from accidents. One is on the western entrance, on the eastern entrance a Greek cross can be found, another two crosses are placed inside. The tower is built in Queen Anne style. Though this style is usually described as one with ensemble of colors and forms, the tower presents quite "ascetic" variant of the style.
At the entrance, between American and Greek flags, there is a bust to great Greek general Demetrius Ypsilanti, after whom the city was named.
Today the water tower is a famous sight not only for Ypsilanti, but also for whole Michigan. It will become clear why, if one sees a picture of it. The thing is about its phallic shape. At first sight it is not an extraordinary thing to amaze; all around the planet there are lots of "phallic" buildings. But anyway the tower was nominated for "Most Phallic Buildings" awards organized by "Cabinet" magazine in 2003. There were lots of other buildings with same obscene form nominated for this award; there surely be articles about each of " goes to...Ypsilanti water tower! Unfortunately the "Cabinet" magazine failed to provide the winning criteria, which make a building the most phallic one. Therefore the only thing we can do is believe that the jury was qualified for such competitions and trust their opinion.
Owing to the awardee Ypsilanti became quite famous. In order to take photo with "the famous guy" people come here not only for all states but also from around the world. Well, not surprising; people have always been keen on phallic symbols.
By Sona Gasparian, www.building.am