Southern Pacific Water Tower

Southern Pacific Water Tower (HM1BT9)

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 San Luis Obispo County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 16.571', W 120° 39.29'

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Historic Restoration Project

The historic Southern Pacific Water Tower is located directly across the tracks from where you are standing. It looks much as it did when built in 1940 at a cost of $2,130. The Water Tower is located in it original position, across from the City's "new" Mission-style railroad depot built during World War II. The Water Tower was built to save time during train stops in San Luis Obispo. At that time, up to 10 passenger trains per day stopped in San Luis Obispo, and steam locomotives has to stop twice: once at the roundhouse to take on water and again at the depot to load and unload passengers. The 65,000 gallon steel tank allowed locomotives to take on water while stopped at the depot. The Water Tower was in service until 1956 when Southern Pacific retired the last of the steal locomotive on the coast line.

Over the years, weathering and lack of maintenance had taken a toll on the tank, and support structure. In the 1980's, Southern Pacific Railroad planned to demolish the old structure. The City purchased the Water Tower from the Railroad to ensure its long term preservation. In 1989, the City began a phased restoration to return the historic structure to its original appearance. Restoration work included concrete foundation repairs, asbestos removal, strengthening of the timber tower supports, architectural restoration of the water tank, replacement of the roof, and repair of the "indicator panel" which once showed the water level inside the tank. Restoration was completed in 1998, preserving the water tower for future generations as an historic landmark and tribute to the Age of Steam.
HM NumberHM1BT9
Placed ByCity of San Luis Obispo
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 3:10pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 713298 N 3906193
Decimal Degrees35.27618333, -120.65483333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 16.571', W 120° 39.29'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 16' 34.26" N, 120° 39' 17.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)805, 858
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1011 Railroad Ave, San Luis Obispo CA 93401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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