Archive for Monday, July 1, 2013

40 years ago: Observation tower approved for Wells Park

July 1, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 1, 1973:

  • The Kansas Park and Resources Authority recently had approved plans for restrooms, an observation tower, and a shelter house at Wells Park. When word of the approval had been received by the Douglas County Commission this week, commissioners approved contracts for the work with local builder Kenneth Klingenberg. The observation tower was to cost $9,405; the shelter house, $6,388; and the restrooms, $5,554.
  • Fire calls this week included a fire caused by shorted wiring in a car owned by Rosalie James, 1026 New Jersey, on a county road about two miles northeast of Lawrence. Overheated grease had caused another small blaze at the home of Robert Allison, 518 Kasold. A passing motorist had reported smoke coming from the Elks Club, 3705 W. 23rd, but firefighters reported finding no fire at the site.


Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

I think that the first time I was on the observation tower at Wells Park was in 1978. So apparently at that time, it was only 5 years old. There was some graffiti carved into and written onto it, but it was in very good condition. I didn't think a thing of it.

A couple years ago I was on it again, and the extent of the deterioration of the original tower amazed me. It's still safe because a lot of extra wood bracing, steel plates, and even lengthy steel cables from the top to concrete anchors in the ground to keep it from swaying in the wind and with the shifting loads as people move around on it have been added.

Now it's nothing like it was, because the simplicity of the original design without all of the extra wood and steel bracing and the stabilizing cables was a rustic looking and very artistic design, and it was beautiful. Now it looks like a cobbled together tower, nothing special at all.

The original construction cost was $9,405. Adjusting for inflation:
What cost $9,405 in 1973 would cost $47,938.96 in 2012.

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