Photo courtesy of the Buffalo History Museum.
Photo courtesy of the Buffalo History Museum.

Looking Backward: Kensington Water Tower

by / Feb. 14, 2019 11am EST

The Kensington Water Tower, 667 Kensington Avenue, was built from 1908 to 1909 and designed in the Italian Renaissance style by Robert A. Wallace. The tower originally served triple duty as a waterworks structure, clock tower, and observation deck. In 1947, four illuminated clock dials, each seven and one-half feet in diameter, were removed and replaced with copper louvers and glass block. In 1951, the belvedere with an observation deck was removed. The observation deck featured eight open Palladian arches between pilasters above the present balustrade; it had a copper cornice and faceted clay tile roof with a copper finial. Four copper downspouts led from the tile roof into a 705,000 gallon water tank. Few civic buildings in Buffalo have suffered as greatly from mid-century “renovations,” and perhaps none represent a more exciting opportunity for restoration.