Water Tower (Szent István Square)

Name of the building: Water Tower (Szent István Square)
Town, location: Szent István Square, Szeged
GPS coordinates: N 46.2585, E 20.1501
Date of construction: 1903-1904
Stylistical characteristics: It is an early iron concrete industrial monument, combining the modern architectural endeavours of the turn of the century and the geometric branch of Art Nouveau.
Architect: Szilárd Zielinski (1860–1924), Flóris Korb (1860–1930) and Kálmán Giergl (1863–1954)
Builder: It was commissioned by Szeged Town.
Contractor: It was built by Henrik Freund and his sons.
Monument classification: Under special industrial monument protection.

The original function of the building

Changes

It is unchanged, and nowadays still works as a water tower. It was originally built with a lookout level which can be visited in summers and occasionally on Open Monument Days. There are two permanent exhibitions in the tower: downstairs, the collection of soda-water production, on the seventh floor, the exhibition on the history of physics. On the second floor, the original blueprints and plans of the reconstruction as well as photos of the renewed tower can be seen.

Description and qualities of the building

Szeged, the ‘city of palaces’, can take pride in a genuine architectural curiosity, one of the oldest industrial monuments of reinforced concrete, in the Water Tower, which is commonly called the Old Lady. With its simple, inventive structure and puritan plainness, it is an excellent example of the engineering inventiveness. Because of more than a century since its construction and the countless novelties of the 20th century’s architecture, the tower does not evoke such an astonishing newness that this spectacular building represented in the contemporary Szeged. The modern architectural endeavours of the turn of the century and the marks of the geometric branch of the Art Nouveau lend a splendid look to the Water Tower that is still functional.

History of the building

It has constantly been operating since 1904.

Its fronts were renovated in the years of 1959 and the 1960s.

In 2003, it was listed as a special monument.

Between 2005 and 2006, reconstruction work took place together with the total renewal and rehabilitation of the Szent István Square.

References

Csongrád megye építészeti emlékei, Szeged, 2000, Tóth Ferenc (szerk.),

O. Csegezi Mónika szócikke

http://www.viztorony.hu/h/csongrad/szeged/02.html