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Oxford water tower

Oxford water tower was a city landmark for 76 years, 1922-1998, in Park Place, at the northeast corner of High and Main streets. In the 1990s, controversy surrounded its fate -- preservation or demolition. It was emptied in 1993. Some Oxford residents believed the issue had been settled in November 1997 by a non-binding referendum. In that vote, 1,447 favored removal and 983 supported saving the olive green tower. A month later, Oxford City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to raze it. But the debate and legal moves continued until it was demolished in July and August 1998.

In November 1921, a $56,000 bond issue, approved 503-201, funded improvements to the Oxford water system. A separate $11,500 outlay was earmarked for standpipe construction that began in late August 1922. The 135-foot tower, holding more than 200,000 gallons, was completed Oct. 20, 1922, and filled with water the same day.

The water tower was located in one of two blocks northeast and northwest of Oxford’s main intersection at High and Main streets.

After the tower was dismantled, Oxford established the Uptown Parks in the two squares that straddle Main Street. The $1.9 million project was dedicated Oct. 7, 2000. Work had started in December 1999.

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