Home | Experience the Arts | Public Art Directory | Compton Hill Reservoir Water Tower

Public Art

Compton Hill Reservoir Water Tower

By Harvey Ellis
Category: Miscellaneous


The Compton Hill Water Tower, the newest of the City’s three towers, is located at Grand and Russell Boulevards in South St. Louis. The tower, built on the 36 acre Reservoir Park, was completed in 1898 after a design by Harvey Ellis at a cost of $48,000.

The 179-foot tower is made of rusticated limestone, buff-colored brick and terra cotta. Its walls are adorned with carvings of mythical animals and leaf patterns. Inside, spiral steps take visitors to the top of the tower where an observation deck under a bell-shaped roof of terra cotta tiles offers a 360-degree view of the City of St. Louis. During the World’s Fair in 1904, as many as 5,000 people visited the tower and promenaded in carriages through Reservoir Park.

The Compton Hill Water Tower was taken out of service in 1929 when the Stacy Park Reservoir went into service. Although it was no longer in service, the tower was occasionally opened for public tours. The tower was closed, however, in 1984. For more than ten years, the tower stood unused and deterioration began to take over. In 1995, the City of St. Louis Water Division embarked on an extensive renovation project to rebuild the Compton Hill Reservoir, which included the restoration of the Compton Hill Tower. The renovation of the Compton Hill Water Tower was completed in 1999.

Courtesy of the City of St. Louis Water Division.

Dimensions: 179′
Year Completed: 1898
Material: Limestone, brick, terra cotta
Owner: City of St. Louis

About the artist:

Arts and cultural events are waiting around every corner throughout the St. Louis region. Explore the abundant creativity our area has to offer. From gallery shows and performances to public installations, St. Louis is rich with culture and the arts in all forms. Browse these links to experience our arts community firsthand.


Due to the ongoing financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has been working diligently to adjust our annual grantmaking programs to ensure alignment with RAC’s strategic priorities, and in response to feedback from the arts community.


We have gathered a variety of news, information, and other resources to sustain the health and vibrancy of our arts community.


As the leading public catalyst for arts and culture in St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission leverages the power of creativity to strengthen and enrich our community. Read our commitment to diversity, racial equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and see our strategic plan for the next five years.


Covid-19 has impacted us all. But what it hasn’t changed is RAC’s commitment to finding innovative ways to support arts programming, arts organizations, and individual artists through the pandemic, and to resuming these programs as soon as conditions allow.


Skip to content