Waldo Water Tower (Kansas City, Missouri)

The Waldo water tower, officially called the Frank T. Riley Memorial, is a white, castle-like tower in the Waldo neighborhood of south Kansas City, Missouri, United States.[3]

Waldo Water Tower
Waldo Water Tower, March 2010
Location75th St. and Holmes Rd., Tower Park, Kansas City, Missouri
Coordinates38°59′25″N 94°34′55″W
ArchitectTifft Const. Co.
NRHP reference #77000810[2]
Added to NRHPApril 18, 1977


The structure was a functioning water tower from 1920 until 1957.[3] The tower was pictured each year from 1929 to 1946 in the World Book Encyclopedia as an early example of reinforced concrete.[4] It was listed in 1975 as Missouri's first American Water Landmark by the American Water Works Association, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]

The 12-sided tower is 134 feet (41 m) tall, with walls 18 inches (460 mm) thick, and a capacity of 1,000,000 US gallons (3,800,000 l; 830,000 imp gal). The tower is topped by crenellations and 12 arched windows. It was constructed using a 14-day continuous pour.[3]

In August 1962, the remains of a 20-year-old man missing since the previous November were discovered in the bottom of the tower. To retrieve the body, a hole was created near the bottom of the tower. The location of that hole is still visible on the west side of the tower. The tower is currently protected from vandals and climbers by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire.[5]

In 2015, the Kansas City Council set aside $850,000 to renovate the tower.[1]

See also


  1. Waldo Tower makeover a victory for neighborhood activist, a May 19, 2015 article from The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2015-07-19.
  2. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  3. Campbell, Matt (10 March 2009). "Group wants to improve a towering landmark". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  4. Tillotson, Bette (2002–2005). "A History of Waldo: Waldo Facts". Waldo Area Business Association. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  5. James Everett "Jim" Royse from Find a Grave. Retrieved 2015-07-19.

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