Did You Know These Tiny Buildings All Over Wichita Falls Actually Serve a Purpose?
Those random buildings aren't just for show, they're actually doing a job.
If you have driven around Wichita Falls, you have seen at least one of these. The city calls them ornamental structures. Maybe you have noticed the latest one that was just built near the Walmart on Lawrence Road. It looks like a Water Mill. My first thought when they were building this, why? Seriously, why do we need a water mill here?
Then you think about it, those little buildings are all over town. We have castles, lighthouses, Japanese style pagodas. These things are actually helping our city out. They're hiding the eyesores that are a traffic control box. Plus, they help keep them cool and not exposed to the brutal Wichita Falls heat during the summer helping them work more effectively.
The city plans to add more of these, but below are all the ones we have around and where they're located. I think the castle is my favorite, which one do you think is the best?
The First Site-1987Located at Brook & 5th Street
Was originally a single story pagoda at Brook and Seymour Highway, a second story was added in 1994 for a bigger traffic box. The new structure at the Brook & 5th Street intersection is an elegant looking tower.
Oriental Tea House-1988Located at Seymour Highway & Loop 11
Actually is landscaped with Japanese pines to go with the scene.
Japanese Pagoda-1989Located at Jacksboro Highway & Midwestern Parkway
Santa Fe Jailhouse - 1990Located at Old Iowa Park Road & Sheppard Access Road
This one is actually no longer working as a traffic box due to a decrese in traffic volume, but the structure remains.
English Cottage-1991Located at Jacksboro Highway and East Scott Street
Lantern House-1992Located at Seymour Highway and Sunset Drive
Bell Tower-1993Located at Jacksboro Highway and Central Freeway
The largest structure built at the time was designed to grab the attention of travelers passing through our city.
The Lighthouse-1996Located at 9th Street and Kemp Boulevard
The beacon actually works on it.
Sheppard Main Gate Tower-1997Located Spur 325 & Highway 240
Officials at the base actually helped with the design. An old-school guard tower was the final design.
Castle-1998Located at Midwestern Parkway & Hampstead
Has a complete castle wall and moat as well for the perfect medieval theme.
Clock Tower-2003Located at Kell East and Indiana
Water Mill-2017Located at Maplewood and Lawrence Road
The design for the water mill began all the way back in 2003. You may have actually seen it working at the 2004 Texas Recreation and Parks Society Convention. It finally found a home right outside the Walmart on Lawrence Road.