Slice of Life: Western Water

Tower Museum

When water towers of yore outlive their usefulness, Chicago suburbs like to turn them into museums.  That’s the case at the Tower Museum (914 Hillgrove Avenue) in Western Springs.

The Western Springs Historical Society runs the museum which is open two hours a week.  So if you’re interested in Western Springs, you’re probably better off checking out the library or you can read this article about how it sometimes rains car parts in the town.

The tower was designed by Benzette Williams and Edgar Williams and built in 1892.  In addition to supplying water to Western Springs (replacing an actual spring that dried up), the tower was also the location of the police and fire departments, the jail, and the town offices.

In 1968 those municipal functions relocated, but the tower continued to serve its primary purpose until a lightning bolt hit the 113-foot-tall tower and sparked fire in 1991.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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