WATER TOWER

PROJECT SUMMARY

  • Location: 631 Irwin Street NE

  • Built 1906

  • The Water Tower is an opportunity to connect the rich history of the Sweet Auburn Corridor with the bustling Atlanta BeltLine. The site offers a public park and community destination that will be activated through art, temporary activations, and community events.

 

HISTORY

Atlantic Compress Company built a new Atlanta location (today Studioplex) c. 1905-7, and at the time was considered the most modern warehouse construction. Because raw cotton was such a fire risk, the company also built this 100,000 gallon water tower shortly thereafter.

In June of 1909, a fire broke out at the corner of Sampson (Auburn) and Irwin Streets, which destroyed four manufactories and 3,000-4,000 bales of Atlantic Compress cotton.

The Studioplex building could hold 40,000 bales and had three compresses. In 1916, they upgraded the fire walls, installed more sprinklers and managed to cut their fire insurance rates in half…which was a big deal for a company operated 25 plants across the South.

Today, this water tower is the oldest surviving in Atlanta, and a way for people to connect to this area’s manufacturing and working-class history.