No I’m not talking about the war memorial, I’m talking about the aging concrete, gunmetal grey monstrosity detracting from it in the background.
Yes it’s been there a long time, yes it’s “distinctive” (distinctively hideous in my opinion) and it’s certainly tall, but is it really the best we can do for that end of High Street?
With the number of shopfronts vacant in Wodonga at present, it’s not like the cobbler’s shop which makes it’s home in the street level of the water tower has no-where else to set up shop is it?
Recently Wodonga has spent a truckload on revamping Stanley Street, and the bizarre “lounge on High” project has certainly gotten tongues wagging. Yet for some reason we have persisted in keeping the stark, dejected and squalid looking water tower.
The water tower is hardly unique to Wodonga; they are endemic throughout the region. As their prefabricated form suggests, they were standard issue for most small towns.
In fact that’s rather the problem. Does Wodonga want to remain a “small town” or does it want to become a city? If it’s the former, sure, keep the water tower, hang a few purple lights on it so it only looks offensive during day-light hours and pretend the city has an “observation deck”.
If it’s the latter, surely it’s a mark of maturity to come to terms with the fact that the water tower is a drab, dingy and dull relic of a bygone era and replace it with a distinctive community arts project, or functional amenity.
In a sense, the debate around the water tower is a representation of the spirit of Wodonga in microcosm, quintessentially it is a question of whether Wodonga wants to make a quantum leap or a quondam one.