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A downtown icon, Fresno’s Water Tower isn’t just a historic place, it’s a symbol for our city.
Chances are, if you’ve lived here for any stretch of time, you’ve definitely heard of it, and probably have even seen it. About 3,000 people visit the water tower every year and with good reason: it looks cool and it’s over 100 years old.
Currently, you can tour this icon thanks to the Fresno Arts Council, but due to financial issues, it may close within the year. If you’re worried about the closure of this historical landmark, here are a few ways you can help keep its doors open to the public.
1. Show Your Support By Visiting!
The water tower is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Admission is free (but bring quarters for parking meters). While you’re there, put an extra buck or two in the donation box. TaDA! You just helped raise money for the water tower and you got to enjoy local history and impressive architecture.
Recently I went down there because I’d never been and always intended to visit. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the docents from Heritage Fresno were friendly and informative. The inside of the tower is really beautiful, with arching brick walls and soft curves. It’s definitely worth a visit if you haven’t made the time (for more about visiting the water tower, check out this FresYes article).
And as a bonus, Eatin’ on Eaton should be back in session as soon as the weather is cooler. On Fridays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. you can enjoy delicious food from fabulous local food trucks.
2. Purchase Something Cool
Built in 1894, the water tower actually held water all the way up to the 1960s. Now it holds art and other cool stuff. When you visit, you can check out local artists’ work, including Fresno-centric art.
Not only are there Fresno pillows by Casual Glitz and amazing Demetra Barrister soaps, there are also a few Fresno coloring books by Doug Hansen for sale, and those things are hard to find! In short, the variety of goods is impressive, from quilts to wooden bowls to silver spoons. Although this doesn’t fund the Water Tower directly, it does support the local art community. Plus, it encourages artists to pay the fee required to keep displaying their art at the Water Tower.
Finally, if you’re busy during the water tower’s normal operating hours, there’s always Art Hop. On the first Thursday of every month, you can hop in and visit from 5 to 8 p.m.
3. Become A Water Tower Patron
If you can’t make it downtown but still want to contribute to keeping this historic destination open to the public (and full of art), you can donate online here.
All the money you contribute will go directly to the water tower, regardless of whether the goal is met. Even though the disparity of funds is $8,000, the Arts Council is shooting for more than that to make sure the tower stays open, and to address the issues of operating costs that caused this financial crisis. As a bonus, when you donate 20 dollars (or more) you get a small gift as a “thank you.”
Every little bit and contribution counts, so scrape up that change and head downtown to enjoy a true Fresno icon while it’s still open.
If you have more ideas for how to help, share them in the comments!