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Russell and Helen Means Observation Tower at Kill Creek Park

Russell and Helen Means Observation Tower at Kill Creek Park

Olathe, Kansas

 

The Russell and Helen Means Observation Tower is sited on an alley of trees from the original homestead occupied by the Means. The four-story, 960 SF tower overlooks the parkland donated by the Means family and offers distant views of undisturbed prairie.  A series of framed views at each landing builds wonder as the visitor ascends to each level. Northwestern views frame water tower landmarks. An intermediate landing frames a picturesque view of the park’s ponds. Easterly views align with the axis of trees. A ribbon of weathered steel guardrail guides the journey around the precast elevator core. The galvanized bar-grate skin mimics the ever-changing perception through the filtered view of tall Kansas prairie grass. The buildings form is the familiar proportion of a grain silo.  The tower cants slightly, evoking a metaphorical image of smoke rising in the wind from the annual spring burn of the prairie, suggesting new life and the cycle of seasons.

Category

Recreation