From the observation deck, a clear day reveals sites as far as 12 miles away, such as the refinery in Rosemount and the Carlson Twin Towers in the West Metro. Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul skylines can be seen. The airport, the State Fair’s Space Needle, and the High Bridge on Smith Avenue are all visible.
Better than any stair master exercise, visitors are rewarded with a workout and the view. As a bonus, those who make the climb as get a sticker declaring, “I saw St. Paul from the top of the Highland Tower.”
The tower is open to the public only twice a year; once in conjunction with Highland Fest, July 20-21 and again October 12 - 13 for the fall viewing. The doors are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
In addition to great views, the building is a historical landmark designed by the nation’s first African-American municipal architect, Clarence “Cap” Wigington. Tower blue prints hang in the tower base for viewing. The tower was designated an American Water Landmark by the American Water Works Association in 1981. In 1986, the tower was entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
Water utility employees will be on hand to answer questions about the tower, the water distribution system, and the water sources that provide more than 415,000 people in Saint Paul and the surrounding area with quality drinking water.