Friday, December 23, 2016

Goblet Tanks (1917)

100 years ago, the Roger W. Hunt & Company Employees' Bulletin reported on the use of reinforced concrete in the design of water tanks along the Gulf Coast. Featuring an image of the tallest tank, located at Bay Minette, Alabama, the Bulletin drew its report from Modern Building. Measuring 80 feet from ground to tank bottom, the supporting form emulated the stem of a drinking goblet. Tested by a June 29 hurricane, the Bay Minette goblet tower quickly became an engineering marvel. Wealthy coastal property owners sought information from Leonard Henderson White (1882-1962), an engineer who developed the method for his Concrete Steel Construction Company of Birmingham, Alabama.

Some Miami patrons despaired at the goblet tank's austerity, and hired prominent architects to modify White's method with neoclassical ornamentation. August Geiger (1887-1968) developed a 100,000 gallon tank at Alton Beach and Harold Hastings Mundy (1878-1932) utilized reinforced concrete on a combined tank and observatory for the John H. Eastwood Estate.

Dothan, Alabama's Dixie Standpipe (1897) was added to the National Register this month.

Image above:  "Interesting Things in Print." Employees' Bulletin [Roger W. Hunt & Company]. 4:3 (January 1917): p. 12.

2 comments:

Thomas Rosell said...

I love these tanks! I think the tank in Bay Minette is still standing. https://www.flickr.com/photos/78348039@N03/shares/C6N1Xv

Keli Rylance said...

Looks like it is part of a hospital complex now?