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For Brandon Bosley’s Ward, Grand Avenue Water Tower Makeover Is A Big Deal

091520_provided_watertower.jpg
Provided by Brandon Bosley
The top of the Grand Avenue Water Tower is looking a whole lot brighter all of a sudden.

The Grand Avenue Water Tower has been a familiar sight for Brandon Bosley ever since he moved to St. Louis’ College Hill neighborhood at age 7 — until this past weekend, that is. Now the 3rd Ward alderman will need to get used to the tower’s bright new facade.

On Saturday, a host of volunteers helped give the 149-year-old tower a long-overdue fresh coat of paint as part of the St. Louis community’s latest Operation Clean Sweep, a daylong neighborhood cleanup effort spearheaded by the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Bosley has described the tower as “the northside’s own little iconic piece of history,” and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air he joined host Sarah Fenske to share his perspective on why the weekend effort was such a big deal for his community.

He noted that the tower’s makeover and surrounding cleanup are just the beginning, in some ways. Further improvements, such as replacement of the lights that used to illuminate the tower at night but are currently dark, are still to come.

“We most certainly will see lights before the end of the year, without a doubt,” Bosley said.

The alderman hopes to build on the momentum and sees the presence of the Urban League headquarters in his community, along with other partners such as Mission STL, as a key piece of that.

“We have all these different organizations that’s doing great things,” Bosley said. “We want to connect them and make sure that the neighborhood knows that they have a role [to play] at the same time … in utilizing them to the maximum capability that we can.”

The alderman said he also sees a need to keep the cleanup efforts going to deter drivers from throwing trash around the water tower, which has been an issue in the past.

“Maybe we do cleanups every other week so that we can keep that corridor clean, so those people who are traveling [through], they’ll see us out there,” Bosley said, “and they won’t throw trash down if they see people picking it up, I think.”

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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