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Photo, Print, Drawing Western Springs Water Tower, 914 Hillgrove Avenue, Western Springs, Cook County, IL

[ Drawings from Survey HABS IL-332  ]

More Resources

[ Data Pages from Survey HABS IL-332  ]

About this Item

Title

  • Western Springs Water Tower, 914 Hillgrove Avenue, Western Springs, Cook County, IL

Names

  • Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
  • Hill, Thomas Clarkson
  • Page, William
  • Peck, Phillip F. W.
  • Williams, Edgar
  • Williams, Benezette
  • Collins, Charles
  • Collins, Ruth
  • Chicago and Naperville Stone Company
  • Western Springs Historical Society
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago, sponsor
  • Pipal, Charles, faculty sponsor
  • Kennealy, Erin, project assistant
  • Baum, Patricia, field team
  • Biggers, Sarah, field team
  • Chircop, Michelle, field team
  • Del Bel Belluz, Elissa, field team
  • Fisher, Elizabeth, field team
  • Garner, Fleming, field team
  • Hartzell, Kris, field team
  • Horton, Sarah, field team
  • Kanch, Kerryann, field team
  • Oliveri, Dana, field team
  • McPartland, Mary, transmitter

Created / Published

  • Documentation compiled after 1933

Headings

  • -  water towers
  • -  water supply
  • -  conical roofs
  • -  stone buildings (limestone)
  • -  brick
  • -  water tanks
  • -  offices
  • -  police stations
  • -  jails
  • -  courthouses
  • -  Illinois--Cook County--Western Springs

Latitude / Longitude

  • 41.809791,-87.900896

Notes

  • -  2013 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Entry
  • -  Significance: The village of Western Springs, a suburb about 15 miles west of Chicago's Loop, which is currently bounded by Willow Springs Road, Ogden Avenue, Interstate 294, and 55th street, is situated along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, originally the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The Potawatomi tribe originally inhabited this land. However after the Black Hawk War in 1832, the last of the Native Americans in Northeastern Illinois region ceded their land opening up the potential development of the Chicago area. The land during the mid-19th century consisted of mainly flat prairie with marshy terrain along the western boundary, and contained natural springs from which it takes its name. After the Native Americans fled the area, farmer Joseph Vial settled there in a log cabin, which served as a stagecoach depot, hotel, general store and post office for the region. As the population grew over the next fifty years, a railroad station was in high demand. It was then, in 1863, that the Chicago, Burling and Quincy Railroad built the line through Western Springs. Through this process much of the swamp areas were filled in, creating more surface area to expand the population. This was an ideal time to invest in the area, and in 1870 the Western Springs Land Association seized the opportunity. The group consisted of four men, Thomas Clarkson Hill, William Page, and two sons of Phillip F. W. Peck, who bought the three tracts of land, which comprise the entire area of the village for the. price of $105,000. Two years later, Hill, a Chicago resident, decided to move out to the area to begin organizing the community to promote the area and thus attract more residents. As the population continued to grow, the area became more established and the makings of a true town began to emerge. A schoolhouse was built in 1872 and a post office in 1873. Just over a decade later, on February 30, 1886, the village of Western Springs was incorporated and Hill was elected President. The town continued to flourish over the next twenty years, as a result their water source, the natural spring, dried up. The village hired a team. of engineers to create a waterworks system for the area. The team, which consisted of two brothers, Edgar and Benezette Williams, constructed an extensive water system, which included a well, pipes, and a water tower for storage. It is this water tower that would become an icon of the area. The water tower was built on a triangular plot of land; known then as "Block A" and now was the Tower Green. Charles and Ruth Collins donated the land and the water tower was constructed in 1892. The total cost of the water works project, the water tower and the sewer system combined, was $79,119.10. For the construction of the water tower, 156 carloads of stone were ordered from the Chicago and Naperville Stone Company. Once delivered, each stone was hand cut and shaped individually on site. Plans for the cylindrical tower stated that it would be 112.5 feet tall with a diameter of 36.5. feet. Constructed of a combination of limestone and brick, where currently the limestone base measures roughly 61 feet high, and the brick on top, measures roughly 35 feet in height. The conical roof, measures roughly 13.5 feet in height. The limestone walls at the base. of the tower measure 6 feet thick, and get thinner as they move up, measuring about 3 feet thick at the top of the stone. The brick is quite a bit thinner measuring only 1.5 feet thick. The original tank was designed to hold 113,000 gallons of water. The top brick portion of the building housed the water tank, which acted as the villages water storage until 1962 when a new tank in Spring Rock Park became the water storage facility. Village offices, police department, jail, and magistrate court occupied the bottom limestone portion of the structure from its competition until 1968, when all moved to a new administration building located at 740 Hillgrove Avenue. The building now houses the Western Springs Historical Society and acts as a history and children's museum. The structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, for its architectural and engineering design and remains to date an iconic structure in the village.
  • -  Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N2387
  • -  Survey number: HABS IL-332
  • -  Building/structure dates: 1892 Initial Construction
  • -  National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 81000219

Medium

  • Measured Drawing(s): 10

Call Number/Physical Location

  • HABS IL-332

Source Collection

  • Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Repository

  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Control Number

  • il1003

Rights Advisory

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

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  • Call Number: HABS IL-332
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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Thomas Clarkson Hill, William Page, Phillip F. W Peck, Edgar Williams, Benezette Williams, Charles Collins, et al. Western Springs Water Tower, 914 Hillgrove Avenue, Western Springs, Cook County, IL. Western Springs Cook County Illinois, 1933. translateds by Mcpartland, Marymitter Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/il1003/.

APA citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Hill, T. C., Page, W., Peck, P. F. W., Williams, E., Williams, B. [...] Oliveri, D. (1933) Western Springs Water Tower, 914 Hillgrove Avenue, Western Springs, Cook County, IL. Western Springs Cook County Illinois, 1933. McPartland, M., trans Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/il1003/.

MLA citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, et al. Western Springs Water Tower, 914 Hillgrove Avenue, Western Springs, Cook County, IL. trans by Mcpartland, Marymitter Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/il1003/>.