Paradise Water Tower
Russell County, KS
The Paradise Water Tower was built in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration project for a water works system. The limestone structure displays remarkable integrity with only minimal exterior maintenance occurring over the years. The water tower still serves a water storage facility, but is in need of some restoration, mainly mortar joint re-pointing.
The water tower is 17 feet in diameter, 35 feet in height and has a capacity of 58,000 gallons. The cylindrical structure is constructed of regular coursed, rough-faced, rusticated limestone blocks and is slightly necked down approximately two-thirds up where the base of the water tank is located. The water tower contains a double-leaf entrance with an Art Deco-inspired limestone surround, two sixpane, metal-framed awning windows, and an exterior metal enclosed ladder to the top of the flat metal roof of the tower.
The entrance is composed of double-leaf wood doors constructed out of vertical, narrow-width plank lumber with a single glazed pane. The doorway is ornamented with a decorative limestone surround that is stepped to provide a ziggurat effect and is capped by a flat pediment with three vertical limestone projections. To the right of the doorway is a metal plaque inscribed: "WATERWORKS SYSTEM, ERECTED AND INSTALLED BY WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION AND CITY OF PARADISE, AD 1938."
The Paradise Water Tower is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria A and C as part of the New Deal Era Resources of Kansas MPS. Under Criterion A, the water tower is significant for its association with the Works Progress Administration under the category of SOCIAL HISTORY. Under Criterion C, the nominated property is significant as a distinctive example of a WPA Rustic-style limestone water tower with a Classical Moderne-style inspired entrance surround.