Lee St. Water Tower
This unique landmark continues to tower over the buildings of downtown Alexandria as an integral component of its skyline and landscape. It was originally built as a water tower, or “water works stand pipe”; this type of standpipe was typical of the late 19th century. Initially erected to supply water to the town by equalizing water pressure, the tower stood next to the Parish Jail and Fire Station No. 1 which existed on this block c. 1909 before the present day fire station was established; at this time the tower’s capacity was 210,000 gallons. It is 140 feet tall and between 16 and 18 feet in diameter, composed of hand-riveted iron plates with decorative metal cresting along the top and triangular brackets at the base. At one point there were hundreds of these 19th century standpipes across the country – since replaced by modern water towers.It was almost demolished and used for scrap iron, estimated at 300,000 pounds, for the war effort in 1942. The Lee St. water tower remains and represents the evolution of water system technology in Alexandria.