Bettie and I have long entertained ideas of renovating an old building and using it for housing. It’s not going to happen now – we are very happy where we are now. But sometimes an empty church or a vacant factory still has a certain appeal.

One of the places I thought about living in is a local water tower.

Think of all the interior space you’d have!  The phone pole there looks to be a regulation 40 feet high.  That makes the tower a conservative hundred and twenty feet at the top outer rim (the dome goes above that, but it’s lagniappe).

Living quarters are, by definition, in the big donut at the top.  The part with smooth vertical walls.  The part with writing on it.  It’s probably 20 feet high and an easy 80 feet across.  Area of a circle at πr² gives – hang on – just over five thousand square feet.  On that floor.  I can squeak by with that.

Interior design comes another day.  Let’s paint with broad strokes.  We have used up 20 feet out of the original hundred twenty.  Below the living floor will be a maintenance floor of about 10 feet.  This will be the bottom diagonal section, the hip where to goes from the fluted section up to the living floor.  It will have the mechanicals for the living space – furnace, AC, water pipes, duct-work, etc.  10 feet might be too much height for this – but why cramp yourself?  90 feet left.

We’ll have one floor for sports activities – exercise machines, ping-pong, etc.  20 foot ceilings here.  70 feet.

That should be enough separation for the guest floor.  The corrugated portion is about 70 feet across.  A little over 3800 square feet.  We’ll probably have two bedrooms put in there.  At least two.  Maybe ten.  At twenty by twenty feet (including bathrooms), we have room for nine, with some space left over for the hallways.  A ten-foot floor, so we’re at sixty.

Next will be some big spaces.  A storage floor, probably at twenty feet.  We’ll call this the warehouse.  40 feet left.

On the floor below, the swimming pool.  What – you’re surprised?  It’s a water tower!!  Water belongs here.  The idea of putting it down low is to have a stable base, instead of way up at the top where it can make a big crash when it falls.  The water tower has the largest amount of water at the top – they need it to supply water pressure.  We don’t.  Twenty feet, with twenty feet left.

That’s the garage.  And the workshop.  Plus the indoor potting shed.  And tool storage.  And the what-not and whosis storage.

There are still lots of things to do.  The party deck on top of the whole thing (with appropriate fencing).  Great for sunsets and sunrises – not a lot of visual interference at that height.  Sky-gazing.  A telescope mount?  The possibilities are endless.  There’s the elevator.  We’re not going to walk up that many steps, although stairs will probably have to be in place for fire reasons.  A fireman’s pole?  Maybe.  Do we put the elevator in the center of the building for ease of access, or dedicate one shaft on the side?  There could be a running track in the big area – it’s a twentieth of a mile around.  We need to have windows cut in somehow, and insulation that isn’t there right now.  (That water has a lot of thermal mass – could we leave two feet of water and do without insulation?  That’s a lot of sound insulation, too.)  Zoning and construction permits.  Parking.  Furnishings.  Interior walls – do you go with a fairly circular area, or do you square it off, with (perhaps) closets for the irregular areas?  Central vacuum?  Riding vacuum?  Zip line from the top to the ground, either for fun or as a fire escape?  How big is the kitchen?  If you have 10 guest bedrooms, you have to have an industrial-size kitchen to support that.  Big washer and dryer(s).

All this is never going to happen.  We are staying where we are now, and we certainly don’t have the money to buy the water tower (which isn’t for sale), nor to furnish it.

But what a fun project to tackle!