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.”