Picture 503

The Tower

This tall concrete structure was built in 1910-1911 by the Piedmont Construction Company of Atlanta at a cost of $6,074.84.  From the time of its construction until 1962, it was the only means of water storage on campus except the large tank behind Main Dormitory, which held the water for the sprinkler system.  It is probably the most photographed landmark on campus.  For all its usefulness, many generations of students thought it was purely ornamental.  A report from the Alabamiam in 1940 interviewed Mr. Maurice Jones-Williams, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, about the structure.   “It is 112 feet from the ground to the top,” he said.  “It supports a tank within it which is 32 feet deep.  The capacity of the tank is 109,000 gallons of water.”  Water was pumped into the tank from a filtration plant off campus.

In 1962, at the insistence of President Howard M. Philips, a new tank was erected and the Tower was converted into offices for the three student publications: The Montage (yearbook), the Alabamian (newspaper), and the Tower (literary magazine).  Currently it houses offices for Sodexho, our food services.

(This is an excerpt from White Columns & Red Bricks by Lucille Griffith, Ph. D.)