Downtown Ypsilanti can always be defined by its incredible architecture, from the revival style houses to the unique apartments, all of which surround the Eastern University of Michigan. Perhaps the most prominent feature in Ypsilanti is the water tower which has easily raised interest in Ypsilanti Real Estate over the years. Droves of rental properties and other prime examples of Ypsilanti MI real estate surround the massive structure, drawing attention and helping to contribute to this monument of Ypsilanti history. Visitors to the area often ask questions about it; Why is it here? Who built it? When was it built? The story starts in 1889.
Back to the Start – A Brief History of the Water Tower
To the tune of $21,435.63, William R Coats designed and built the water tower at the highest point in Ypsilanti. It was likely unknown that the tower’s shape and placement would quickly render it a landmark, making it a perfect starting point for directions. Once the tower was built, an ordinance was passed that brought a yearly rate schedule to the residents of Ypsilanti dictating how their water would be paid for. At the time, the rate was based on the number of faucets in the home as well as the amount of livestock the person owned. Unlike today, failure to pay a water bill came with steep fines and even potential jail time.
Until 1956 the iconic water was the only tower in the system, ultimately taken over by the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority in 1974. Today the tower is a designated Historic Civil Engineering Landmark as ordered by the Michigan section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Buying Property Near the Tower
The draw of living in Ypsilanti rather than A2 is the historic structures and the amazing views reminiscent of a time gone by. If you look at the houses on Normal street for example you will see that many of them were built as early as 1939 with their structures still intact. Well maintained and prominently placed near the Eastern University of Michigan campus, they normally cost around $130,000-$300,000 depending on the location and proximity to certain amenities.
Normal Park and Beyond – A Perfect Place to Settle Down
Normal Park and the surrounding areas are within range of some of the best amenities that Ypsilanti has to offer. With close proximity to Michigan Avenue, one can easily access shopping centers and medical facilities along with the nearby Depot Town that bears some of the area’s most historic buildings. Also keep in mind that there are multiple parks nearby including Riverside and Frog Island, both of which have something unique to offer residents of Ypsilanti.
Even more interesting for current and potential Ypsilanti residents is the way the area has managed to resist gentrification in a big way. Ypsilanti real estate, both commercial and residential is surrounded by small, independent Mom and Pop shops that still thrive thanks to the persistence of residents and the need for specialty items. While larger chain stores definitely have their presence in the city, it’s a good balance between the old and the new.
It could be argued that life starts at the water tower and then spreads outward, sprawling across the cityscape of Ypsilanti. In a way the area is a time capsule, slowly growing and changing but keeping the old-world charm that once inspired a song. If your goal is to move here, then you couldn’t have chosen a better place.