Yelm Water Tower Restoration Planned to Begin This Summer
Yelm, WA —Among the many improvements being made in our City this summer, the Yelm water tower restoration project is anticipated to begin before the leaves begin to fall, thanks to the advocacy of our local residents and business owners.
Before long, the iconic tower will be a community art piece in the heart of town with fresh paint and outfitted with LED lighting with an impressive arrangement of different features and colors to coincide with the holidays and other special events. The project will also include new fencing, landscaping and an interpretive kiosk to tell the story.
The decommissioned tower was put on the state Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation in 2017 and is maintained by ”Save the Historic Yelm Water Tower,” which was founded by local business owner Steve Craig. Craig advocated for and received nearly $500,000 in grant funding through the Washington State Capital Budget, allocated to the nonprofit who will complete this project. "Save the Yelm Water Tower" anticipates the preparation, sanding, and painting will be finished before the end of summer with the lighting expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The 125-foot, 500,000 gallon water tower was built in 1946 by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company to replace the two 1,000 gallon pressurized tanks when Yelm was added to the Thurston County Fire District No. 2 in 1946. The tower was placed on the Washington Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation historic register in June 2017. The tower is maintained by the nonprofit, whose members include Craig, Margaret Clapp, Barrie Wilcox, EJ Curry, and Beverly Vines Haines.
The tower is a big part of our history and served as the foundation that allowed us to grow into the community that we are today and continues to serve as a reminder of our past and a familiar welcome sign when coming into town. We are appreciative of the efforts by the nonprofit to save the tower and look forward to seeing the 125-foot structure come back to life as a community art piece that we can all be proud of.