2002 SPRING MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
NORTHEAST SECTION - AIPG
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
History and Restoration of the Weehawken Water Tower
by Eric Holtermann, AIA Weehawken Water Tower Weehawken,
NJ OPEN TO ALL AIPG MEMBERS AND OTHER INTERESTED SCIENTISTS
The medieval style tower that stands today at 41st Street and Park Avenue in Weehawken, New Jersey was designed in the early 1880s by the eminent architect of the Gothic Revival, Frederick Clarke Withers. Originally rising above a four-acre reservoir, this unique structure was an unusual solution to a very unusual challenge. It was both an office building and an elevated water storage tank. While housing water company offices, it supplied clean water, under pressure, for drinking, cooking and bathing, and ample water for fire fighting and industry. These were conveniences that significantly contributed to the economic growth of the area. The tower was once called "the most important structure of its kind in the country." In 1980 the Weehawken Water Tower was declared a National Landmark.
After years of neglect, the Weehawken Water Tower is currently undergoing a major renovation and restoration. Eric Holtermann of Holt, Morgan Russell (Architects) described the unique challenges and techniques that were employed to study and restore this most interesting structure. Tours of the tower, including the roof (with its impressive view of the NYC skyline) were available after the presentation.
As a post-prandial treat, Dr. Alec Gates of the Geology Department at Rutgers - Newark provided a presentation about the current findings on fault and fracture patterns in the Hudson Highlands. Dr. Gates also gave a brief description of the recently established Ph.D. program in environmental sciences at Rutgers - Newark.