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10 water towers that look good enough to eat

By: Matt Hickman on March 26, 2015, 10:10 a.m.
A trio of water towers, one shaped and painted like a watermelon; another is shaped and painted like a beach; the third is shaped and painted like a corn cob.

Photo: JD Hancock [CC by 2.0]; Bruce Tuten [CC by 2.0]; uff-da [CC by 2.0]/Flickr

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Roadside grazing

If you’ve driven through small town America, you’ve probably noticed that the landscape is littered with bulbous concrete-and-steel structures rising from the Earth like Paul Bunyan-sized golf balls on their tees.

These municipal water towers — traditionally used to store a town’s emergency water supply — are largely ignored and unappreciated, painted a drab pale blue and stating not much besides the town’s name. But some scream for attention as fully realized works of novelty architecture.

In communities with agriculture-driven economies, these otherwise humdrum elevated reservoirs are done up to look like produce and other types of food or drink: an ear of corn, a glass of milk, a can of fruit cocktail. We’ve rounded up 10 notable food-shaped water towers in the U.S., many historical and functional. Among them are almost enough comestibles to create a meal, condiments and dessert included. (Text: Matt Hickman)