News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

What's up with our Maple Leaf water tower?

August 11th, 2011 by Mike

Barbara sent us this photo of Maple Leaf’s iconic water tower this afternoon.

She’s wondering: “Just curious to know what the workers are doing there today.”

We don’t know yet, but we’ve asked.

Remember that the water tower (which purists will point out is not a water tower but a water tank on top of a tower) is empty, but that we get to keep it anyway.

We do know that it’s scheduled for a paint job this year, but that the crews will try and preserve the painted maple leaves.

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What’s up with our Maple Leaf water tower?

August 11th, 2011 by Mike

Barbara sent us this photo of Maple Leaf’s iconic water tower this afternoon.

She’s wondering: “Just curious to know what the workers are doing there today.”

We don’t know yet, but we’ve asked.

Remember that the water tower (which purists will point out is not a water tower but a water tank on top of a tower) is empty, but that we get to keep it anyway.

We do know that it’s scheduled for a paint job this year, but that the crews will try and preserve the painted maple leaves.

→ 3 CommentsTags: ,

We get to keep the maple leaves, too

August 27th, 2010 by Mike

Not only do we get to keep our landmark water tower and tank, the city’s going to preserve the art as well.

Next year, when Seattle Public Utilities re-coats the outside of the tank, they will try not to disturb the leaves. “They’re not trained as artists, so they’ll do their best,” said Andy Ryan, media relations coordinator for the utility.

“If needed, after they’re done, we may have to hire a local artist to do a little minor touch-up at the edges of the leafs. So the short answer is ‘yes, we will keep the maple leaves.’”

The tower and tank have been Maple Leaf’s symbol for 50 years. They were taken out of service last year by the utility, and won’t be used again to supply water, so there was fear they might be torn down.

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Maple Leaf landmark water tower to stay

August 24th, 2010 by Mike

We get to keep it.

The water tank and tower that are THE face of Maple Leaf have been sitting empty since last year, and will never be put back in service. Their structure isn’t up to earthquake standards for holding eight million pounds of water 100 feet in the air.

Keeping even an empty tank will require maintenance, such as painting, but Seattle Public Utilities has decided it’s worth it, as it generates revenue from its secondary use as an antenna tower.

“It is still used to support communications antennae and there are no active plans to remove (the tank and tower),”  e-mails Andy Ryan, media relations coordinator for Seattle Public Utilities.

“The exterior of the tank needs to be recoated (for aesthetic reasons) and that work is planned for 2011. The recoating should last somewhere between 10 to 20 years–hopefully closer to 20 years given the lack of water in the tank.”

The water tower was built near the corner of Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 85th Street in 1949 to replace two towers built nearly a hundred years ago, around 1915.

Since it became known the tank was empty, many Maple Leaf Life readers have had suggestions for its future. A sample:

Timmcb: “I think it would be a great lookout tower with one of the best views in Seattle if it was retrofitted for safety. It would be cheaper than creating something wholly new (viewing platform, landscaped hill) for the new park.”

EnduroDriver: “Take it down, the city has such a huge list of unfunded projects that would provide actual value for rate payers why would we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars maintaining an empty tank.”

SimoneBird: “Why not make it into a Peregrine Falcon nesting area? An adult has been seen perched on it off and on for the last two years or so.”

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A foggy morning, followed by a blazing weekend

August 12th, 2010 by Mike

This morning fog faded Maple Leaf’s landmark water tower, but temperatures are expected to warm to the mid-70s under sunny skies by this afternoon.

Then it gets hot.

The National Weather Service expects locations from Seattle southward to break into the 90s by Saturday. Don’t expect to flee to the ocean, either. “The big warm up will be on the coast, with highs on Friday as much as 25 degrees warmer than today.”

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Final design meeting on Maple Leaf park is Wednesday night

June 13th, 2010 by Mike

Two months ago when the neighborhood last met to help design the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, the consensus seemed to be: Preserve the view, keep it green and give us plenty of open space.

This Wednesday night, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., residents will be asked for their final opinions on the park, on Roosevelt Way Northeast at the water tower. The meeting is at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St.

The existing park will quadruple in size to 21 acres over a new, underground reservoir. Work on the reservoir is happening now; construction of the park proper begins in 2012.

Three main concepts were presented at the last meeting, but not everything can fit even into 21 acres. Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park writes:

At this last scheduled public meeting, the preferred schematic for our park will be presented. This is when & where we will review the design and when & where your opinion regarding the final choices between the amenities that will be included in our park is VERY important.

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Maple Leaf's endangered water tower is too low (and no good in an earthquake)

March 30th, 2010 by Mike

We’ve had more discussion on the plight of our empty water tower than on anything we posted since Maple Leaf Life launched. The city has no plans to return the 60-year-old neighborhood landmark to service, and no one knows if the tower will remain or be torn down.

There are opinions on both sides (including the innovative idea of turning it into a lookout tower for the new reservoir park), but Pablo wondered: ” How are we continuing to get adequate water pressure without this tank?”

We asked Seattle Public Utilities. Here’s what we learned:

* For the past 55 years, parts of Maple Leaf never have had adequate water pressure. Our water pressure depends on gravity, and the tower is too low.

* We’ve had better water pressure since last fall, when the  tower was emptied and we started getting water from a reservoir that’s 20 feet higher than our tower.

* The tower, which when full holds 8 million pounds of water 100 feet in the air, isn’t up to earthquake standards.

[Read more →]

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Maple Leaf’s endangered water tower is too low (and no good in an earthquake)

March 30th, 2010 by Mike

We’ve had more discussion on the plight of our empty water tower than on anything we posted since Maple Leaf Life launched. The city has no plans to return the 60-year-old neighborhood landmark to service, and no one knows if the tower will remain or be torn down.

There are opinions on both sides (including the innovative idea of turning it into a lookout tower for the new reservoir park), but Pablo wondered: ” How are we continuing to get adequate water pressure without this tank?”

We asked Seattle Public Utilities. Here’s what we learned:

* For the past 55 years, parts of Maple Leaf never have had adequate water pressure. Our water pressure depends on gravity, and the tower is too low.

* We’ve had better water pressure since last fall, when the  tower was emptied and we started getting water from a reservoir that’s 20 feet higher than our tower.

* The tower, which when full holds 8 million pounds of water 100 feet in the air, isn’t up to earthquake standards.

[Read more →]

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Will we lose Maple Leaf's landmark water tower?

March 25th, 2010 by Mike

It’s empty.

The million-gallon water tower that can be seen from much of North Seattle and is THE  face of Maple Leaf was drained a half-year ago when construction began on the reservoir park. There’s no plan to ever put it back in service, we learned on a recent tour of the construction site.

Seattle Public Utilities says it has not yet made a decision on the tower’s future. The water tower was built near the corner of Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 85th Street in 1949 to replace two towers built nearly a hundred years ago, around 1915.

Maple Leaf No. 1 was made of wood and could hold 50,000 gallons. Maple Leaf No. 2 was twice as big and made of steel, according to Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.  Our familiar tower, which holds 10 times that, is Maple Leaf No. 3.

A survey for that department found the water tower (which they insist on calling a water “tank”) appears to meet criteria to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and for Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Ordinance. Either would make it harder to demolish, but the tower does not actually appear on either list.

For the city’s preservation ordinance, the tower must be at least 25 years old and “an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood.” The neighborhood survey states: “Painted with a distinctive maple leaf pattern, this steel tank has been a prominent feature in the local neighborhood as well as the northern end of the city since its construction in 1949.”

Should the city pay to preserve and maintain an unused water tower because it’s been the most visible thing around for over a half-century?

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Will we lose Maple Leaf’s landmark water tower?

March 25th, 2010 by Mike

It’s empty.

The million-gallon water tower that can be seen from much of North Seattle and is THE  face of Maple Leaf was drained a half-year ago when construction began on the reservoir park. There’s no plan to ever put it back in service, we learned on a recent tour of the construction site.

Seattle Public Utilities says it has not yet made a decision on the tower’s future. The water tower was built near the corner of Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 85th Street in 1949 to replace two towers built nearly a hundred years ago, around 1915.

Maple Leaf No. 1 was made of wood and could hold 50,000 gallons. Maple Leaf No. 2 was twice as big and made of steel, according to Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.  Our familiar tower, which holds 10 times that, is Maple Leaf No. 3.

A survey for that department found the water tower (which they insist on calling a water “tank”) appears to meet criteria to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and for Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Ordinance. Either would make it harder to demolish, but the tower does not actually appear on either list.

For the city’s preservation ordinance, the tower must be at least 25 years old and “an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood.” The neighborhood survey states: “Painted with a distinctive maple leaf pattern, this steel tank has been a prominent feature in the local neighborhood as well as the northern end of the city since its construction in 1949.”

Should the city pay to preserve and maintain an unused water tower because it’s been the most visible thing around for over a half-century?

→ 10 CommentsTags: , , ,