Grand Forks, North Dakota: Smiley Face Water Tower

The smiley face water tower is the friendly mascot of this town. A long-lived Smiley, demolished in 2010, is remembered with a blue smiling water tower in town.
Address:
S Washington, Grand Forks, ND
Directions:
I-29 exit 140 east. Corner of S Washington and Demers, just north of 5th Avenue S..
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Grand Forks, North Dakota - High Scrap Metal Prices Threaten Smiley
Smiley Face Water Tower: For years the city council in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has talked of tearing down "Smiley," the city's beloved baby blue water tower with dual-sided grins (and bow ties). [09/09/2008] Complete Story...

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New Smiley, 2011. Smiley Water Tower Demolished

The 77 year old Smiley tower has now been taken down. The newer water tower a few blocks away has been painted with smileys.

[Elliott Olson, 10/19/2009]

August 2011: Photo added.

Two faces of Mr. Smiley Water Tower. Mr. Smiley Water Tower

Mr. Smiley is standing up and overlooking the city, greeting people coming and going with two different faces.

[diane, 03/30/2007]
Smiley Face Water Tower. Mr. Smiley Water Tower

Mr. Smiley, a Smiley Face Water Tower, is the heart of Grand Forks, greeting visitors to our town every day. At risk for demolition, Mr. Smiley still bravely stands every day doing his job, while a large group of us do everything we can to stop this from happening.

[Kelsey Jacobson, 12/03/2006]

December 2006: In November the Grand Forks City Council considered the $50,000 demolition cost vs. the $190,000 sandblasting of lead-based toxics and repainting estimate. You can guess which won.

Smiley Face Water Tower

My grand father designed the paint scheme, and originally painted this smiley face water tower. On one side of the tower the smiley face is winking. When my grandfather, Oscar Osmundson, went to the city to get paid for his work they were hesitant about paying him. A few people on the city council thought that it wasn't finished yet -- that he only painted half of one of the eyes on that side of the tower.

My grandfather laughed and told them the tower was winking, and they decided to vote on keeping it. The wink won, and that's how it sits today. Thousands of people drive by the water tower every year, and they all have my grandfather to thank for the smile that the wink puts on their face.

[Chad Osmundson, 01/01/2006]

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