Tired-Looking West Side Water Tower Gets Face Lift

The tired-looking Cleveland water tower along the Shoreway is getting a facelift after two decades of exposure to Northeast Ohio winters and other environmental conditions. The 94-foot tower is one of the more visible structures between downtown and Edgewater Park.

The tower’s basic “City of Cleveland” script is worn with age. Already scheduled for its routine repainting, it was ripe for refurbishing when LAND Studio presented the public art project idea to the city.

“We thought, if it’s going to be redone anyways, why not make it an amazing public art landmark for the city?” said Erin Guido, project manager for LAND Studio.

Built in the 1970s, the tower straddles the line between the Ohio City and Detroit-Shoreway neighborhoods. Guido says painting a mural on the structure will help bridge the gap between public art in both of those neighborhoods.

Right now, a good sandblasting and cleaning prepare the tower for its starring role as the Cleveland Water Department’s biggest and most visible public art project to date.

“We were really excited. Most of our infrastructure is behind fences, or is kind of kept out of neighborhoods and away from the public. This is obviously a very big piece of infrastructure that is right in the heart of a great mixed-use neighborhood,” said Jason Wood, Chief of Public Affairs for Cleveland’s Department of Public Utilities.

An anonymous private donor funded the project, expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The blue interwoven figures represent the flow of water inside the tank.

“I think this will put us more on the map and maybe bring attention to some of the other local artists that have been working in the city too, so I think that will be really cool,” Guido said. I think we just have such a high caliber of local artists, this will just kind of show we’re on the map for that kind of stuff.”

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