Peoria Landmark #442
Organized in 1939, in Peoria, Illinois, the Forest Park Foundation was designed to study and seek solutions for the problems of old age which also included the development of ideas and actions to make the community a better place in which to live. Organizers of Forest Park Foundation were: W. H. Sommer, a pioneer industrialist; Dr. Leslie Rutherford, a successful physician; and Howard Kinsey, a leading businessman.
Beautification projects in the Village of Peoria Heights, Illinois, have also been current interests of the Foundation. The Foundation has pledged $150,000 towards such improvements with the main contribution going towards and esthetic water tower in a park setting. The local water works will provide the basic tank; the Foundation will provide for an elevator and observation deck. The view of the Illinois River from the tower on the Peoria Heights bluff should be spectacular. Figure 13 shows the the finished tower will appear. (above)
- Foundation Philanthropy as Related to the Field of Municipal Parks by David Louis Wiemer, 1967
Tower Park is adjacent to Village Hall. Built in 1968, it was totally renovated in 2003 with a large water fountain, 44’ pavilion for community events and a 200-foot water tower with a ten-foot woodpecker on its northern face. The unique characteristic about the park is the 500,000-gallon water tower has three observation decks. Riding an exterior elevator 200 feet above Peoria Heights and the Illinois River Valley gives one a panoramic view of the entire area. On a clear day you can see for 20 miles.