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A spectacular fall view from the Standpipe

10/25/2013

 

The Thomas Hill Standpipe is the centerpiece of Bangor.

It’s not just a working water tower, it’s a historic crown jewel on the city skyline.  The standpipe was built in 1897, holds 1.75 million gallons of water and has never stopped serving the residents, businesses and fire fighters of Bangor.

It’s a big, mysterious, hard-working building. Designed and built before water towers became either banal public utilities or monstrous civic marquees.

Driving into Bangor on the freeway after dark, you see a string of white lights around its roof.  The tower stands above the tree tops and looks happy and warm, like a night-light in a bedroom window.

Not only is it fun to look at but four times a year the city water department opens the standpipe viewing deck. The public is invited to climb the staircase and gaze out on the Penobscot Valley. You can even see Mount Katahdin, the highest point on the east coast and the end of the Appalachian Trail.

Earlier this month I took a video camera along on a visit, so join me and Jen as we climb the 100 stairs to the top of the Thomas Hill Standpipe.

The next public viewing will be from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The NickMoore hotel, just a block away, has rooms available that night.

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