The Compton Hill Water Tower is a remnant of another time. When it was built, William McKinley was president, and the population of St. Louis was just over half a million. The water tower was built on a 36 acre park, called Reservoir Park, where the wealthier families of German descent chose to make their homes. But the city was outgrowing the existing water delivery system. The pumps used to send water through the city created dangerous surges in pressure, making pipes rattle and shake. In an effort to equalize water pressure, a 5 feet wide, 100 feet tall standpipe was installed. For cosmetic appeal, the tower was built in 1898 to camouflage the standpipe.