Belton Standpipe Commemoration Delayed by Weather
A ceremony aimed at showing a historic Belton tower some love has been delayed thanks to the rainy weather that's rolled into Central Texas.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the Belton Standpipe's local landmark status had been scheduled for Wednesday, October 30 at 11 AM. City of Belton representative Paul Romer said Tuesday that the festivities will have to be rescheduled.
Back in September, the Belton City Council recognized the Standpipe as a significant part of the community's history by awarding it the City's first Local Landmark designation. Anyone who's lived in or at least driven through Belton their entire life already considered it a landmark, so the City's designation just made it official, which is pretty awesome.
In fact, the Standpipe's been on the National Register of Historic Places since November 14, 1990.
"The Belton Standpipe is a product of early 20th century engineering design and the growth in municipal services in the early 20th century," its official description reads. "Contextually it relates to Community and Regional Development, specifically to the provision of Belton city services prior to World War I."
The Standpipe was erected in 1914 as a water tower, and made use of the then-new technique of reinforced poured concrete construction. Standpipes were fairly common in the early 20th century, but most were replaced with steel water towers and Belton's is a rare surviving structure of its type. That's certainly something worth preserving and taking pride in.
“We’re fortunate to have such a rich history and culture here in Belton,” City Manager Sam Listi said. “The Local Landmark designation helps bring attention to community treasures, like the Standpipe, and reminds us of the importance of preserving the past as we plan for the future.”
That future involves a restoration of the Standpipe and the construction of a park around it. Those efforts will be included in the City's 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, with hopes of completion by 2022.
Romer said the City plans to seek grants to fund the project, which will consist of two phases:
Phase I - removing loose plaster and ventilating the tower.
Phase II - re-plastering, painting, and adding a corrosion inhibitor to complete the renovation of the tower.
"Several state and federal grants are available for preservation and park development,” Listi said. “We believe this project will be competitive for grant funding.”
I believe it, too. Honestly, I don't know how to feel about a park being build around it because I like the idea of sitting in a peaceful field, but I can see how putting a few amenities like picnic tables and a swing or two would make it a place for families who want to have a nice time outdoors and take in some local history.
What do you think?