If you’re not paying close enough attention, you could miss a stunning North Baltimore landmark.
But if you slow down as you’re cruising along West University Parkway where it intersects with Roland Avenue, you can catch a glimpse of Baltimore’s past.
There sits the Roland Water Tower. The tower was built in 1904-1905, but was no longer being used by 1930 when the city switched to reservoirs to provide water.
The tower is in dire need of repair, and some community members are rallying to help stabilize and restore it.
Friends of the Roland Water Tower will host “Tunes at the Tower” on Saturday from 12-3 p.m. The event will feature live music by Howard Markman and Garage Sale. It will also feature food trucks Creperie Breizh and Red Zebra.
Michael Falk, a member of the Friends of the Roland Water Tower, is hopeful that the event will both serve as a fundraiser—a raffle will be held— and also bring awareness to the cause of saving it.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Falk said.
Area residents have been working for years to save the tower, and possible uses for the structure were included in the recently approved Greater Roland Park Master Plan.
Falk said Friends of the Roland Water Tower estimate the cost to stabilize the tower would be about $1 million. He said the group plans to use a combination of private and public dollars to help save the tower.
Currently, the group is in the process of applying for a grant to help pay for a feasibility study.
The neighborhood's Maryland General Assembly delegation attempted to get $250,000 in funding for the tower this spring with a bond bill, but failed. Del. Shawn Tarrant, D-District 40, who sponsored the bill, said it is not unusual for a project to fail to get funding the first time it's submitted.
“It just didn’t happen for us. But next year it’s a priority for us,” Tarrant said.
Correction: The Roland Water Tower was misidentified in the original version of this article.