Iconic East Main Street water tower in Tupelo gets repairs, fresh paint

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Workers put the final touches on the East Main Street water tower renovations Tuesday, more than a year after the city first approved funding for the project.
The council first approved a $39,000 allocation to rehab the iconic tower in June 2009, and it added an additional $12,000 to the project earlier this year.
Engineers first inspected and repaired the inside and outside of the structure, which was built in 1955 but is no longer in service. A work crew then spent months repainting it. A 10-foot-tall logo of a guitar was applied this week.
The guitar is significant because the tower sits atop a hill that was rumored to have been a favorite sitting spot of Elvis Presley when the famous entertainer was a youth in east Tupelo.
“In two days, they should be completed and the whole project will be done,” said Tupelo Water & Light Manager Johnny Timmons.
When the golf-ball-and-tee tower was built, it was the first of its kind in the area.
But the city took it out of service years ago. Since then, the aging structure has slowly deteriorated from lack of routine maintenance.
Members of the Presley Heights Neighborhood Association have long sought to restore it. But the painting and repair are just the beginning. Future plans call for a walking trail and landscaping around its base.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.