Corn Water Tower – Rochester, Minnesota - Atlas Obscura

Corn Water Tower

Rochester, Minnesota

This water tower has been a staple of the Rochester skyline since 1931.  

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Built in 1931, this corny construction was originally built to provide water to the Reid, Murdoch and Co. cannery, which opened in 1929. Although the cannery it served is now closed, this Rochester, Minnesota landmark remains as a reminder to locals and visitors of the Med City’s agricultural past.

The tower stands at 151 feet tall with a 60-foot tank. It was designed by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., a company that has created 15 water tanks which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Illuminated by 10 spotlights at night, the corn-shaped water tower has been a sight off of U.S. Highway 14 for people passing by since its construction. From the 1930’s until the 1960’s, the water tower was used by the Army Air Corps and Air Force to find a nearby airfield.

The 50,000-gallon water tower and cannery has changed hands several times, being purchased by Libby Foods in 1948 and Seneca Foods in 1982. Seneca operated the plant for over 30 years before shutting its doors in 2018. Since the closure of the plant, the water tower has been owned by Olmsted County. Despite not currently being in use, the tower is one of Rochester’s most a-maize-ing attractions.

Know Before You Go

The water tower is most easily seen from Graham Park, known to locals as The Olmsted County Fairgrounds. It can also be easily seen from U.S. Highway 14.