Originally published July 27, 2012
The city of Prospect Park lies in between St. Paul and Minneapolis and is home to the Prospect Park Water Tower. It is also known to locals as the Witch’s Hat, a 110 foot water tower constructed in 1913. The infamous rumor it lays claim to is that Bob Dylan lived within viewing distance of the tower and it inspired him to write “All Along The Watchtower.” Many people remember Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of this song because he took it into the Top 20 charts in 1968, 6 months after Bob Dylan recorded it on John Wesley Harding.
My daughter’s friend lives in the neighborhood and told me a couple of years ago that the interior of the tower is open one day a year so people can climb the stairs and look out the windows.
This year, the tower was open from 5-8 p.m. Hoping to catch the best light possible, I waited until 7 to go. I have to admit getting pretty nervous because the line was super long and at times felt like it wasn’t moving at all. I could see no way I was going to make it inside before it closed. So I was feeling pretty lucky when the volunteers were so kind that they let everybody inside who had been waiting. I think people were still in there at 9 p.m. The mood was lighthearted and festive. A little boy was having a birthday and everyone at the top of the tower started singing “Happy Birthday” to him. Moments later, a marriage proposal was made and people were clapping and flashes were going off.
If you are interested in going, check the city’s website next May. Historically, it has been open the first Friday after Memorial Day.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.