Artist Joe Powers cheers during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for his Lake Stevens Water Tower art piece on Thursday, July 20, 2023 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Artist Joe Powers cheers during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for his Lake Stevens Water Tower art piece on Thursday, July 20, 2023 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Gateway into the park’: Lake Stevens unveils water tower sculpture

The sculpture, honoring the tower built in 1907, is the latest step in the city’s push to revitalize its downtown.

LAKE STEVENS — Joe Powers stood in front of the 25-foot-tall water tower art piece he’d designed and built, his take on a historic landmark.

Several dozen people gathered Thursday afternoon for the art installation’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at North Cove Park, 1806 Main St. The sculpture pays homage to the original water tower built in 1907 on the site of the Rucker Mill, once central to the town’s industry.

Powers grinned as the Lake Stevens crowd cheered, celebrating the project that’s been in the works for a few years.

In 2021, the city put out the call for a sculpture designer. Powers, a local artist, won.

“I was so excited to do this,” he said at the ceremony, thanking city staff for taking over the installation after he suffered a stroke in November.

The sculpture stands next to City Hall on Main Street, not far from the park’s entrance.

It’s the city’s first public art piece, but there are plans for more. City Administrator Gene Brazel said the city hopes to fund new public artwork every couple years.

Russell Wright, the city’s Community Development Director, said the money for the project came from the city’s public art fund. He didn’t have the exact cost immediately available.

The art installation is part of the city’s push to revitalize its downtown. Expanding North Cove Park was a key part of the city’s 2018 Downtown Lake Stevens Subarea Plan, which laid out a vision of the park as a central gathering place.

Since then, the park’s received upgrades like a playground, a festival street and The Mill on Lake Stevens building. The vast majority of the expansion is now complete.

The goal was to “not necessarily mimic the past structure,” Wright said, ”but honor that and reinterpret that.”

A sign explains the history of the water tower on display in front of the art piece on Thursday, July 20, 2023 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A sign explains the history of the water tower on display in front of the art piece on Thursday, July 20, 2023 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The new stainless steel art piece reflects the structure of the old tower, with a modern twist. Sky blue panels at the top will be lit from the inside at night. Lights will also shine down the tower’s silvery gray legs.

The lights aren’t hooked up yet, but will be soon.

Wave-like striations going up and down the structure catch sunlight, mimicking the movement of water. Metal teardrop shapes decorate the sides.

Powers hopes the piece will serve as “a gateway into the park.”

People gathering at the park, he imagines, might one day say, “Hey, I’ll meet you at the water tower.”

Sophia Gates: 425-339-3035;; Twitter: @SophiaSGates.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Public Works Senior Engineer Randy Loveless looks out over Everett’s 101-year-old reservoir at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Reservoir 3 Replacement Project on Tuesday, July 23, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
With looming earthquake threat, Everett breaks ground on $80M reservoirs

Contractors will replace a 100-year-old reservoir east of Evergreen Way with two smaller ones.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
Former Monroe High teacher charged with sexual misconduct

In a police interview, Giles Stanton acknowledged relationships with former students, reportedly saying “he felt a bit like Bill Clinton.”

Lauren Davis, left, Lori Theis, Dunia Wabenga
Public safety is a central question in south Snohomish County race

Rep. Lauren Davis is running for a fourth term. Republican Lori Theis and Democrat Dunia Wabenga are trying to unseat her.

Boy, 15, stabbed after fight on bus north of Lynnwood

Police arrested a suspect, 32, for investigation of assault in the alleged stabbing Tuesday off Highway 99.

Lily Gladstone poses at the premiere of the Hulu miniseries "Under the Bridge" at the DGA Theatre, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Mountlake Terrace’s Lily Gladstone nominated for Emmy for ‘Under the Bridge’

The nomination comes after Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe wins for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Lead Mammography Technologist Starla DeLap talks about the different ways the Hologic 3D Mammography Exam can be situated around a patient on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providence Everett launches early breast cancer detection program

Prevention4Me, the hospital’s new breast cancer risk assessment tool, will help doctors and patients expedite diagnoses and treatment.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.