Step aside, Washington Monument, the historic Ypsilanti Water Tower has been officially declared the "World's Most Phallic Building." Standing erect on the highest hill in Ypsilanti, the tower was constructed with crosses built into the stonework. This was because construction was relatively dangerous in the 19th century:
"The exterior was designed in the popular Queen Anne style of the period. Queen Anne design was less formal than other popular styles at the time. Instead it experimented with different shapes particularly towers. Queen Anne buildings also often had more decoration than this structure."
The Ypsilanti Water Tower was built in 1890 as part of a city waterworks project. It was designed by William R. Coats and was the only water tower serving Ypsilanti until the 1950s:
"An ordinance passed on April 14, 1898, established a yearly rate schedule for residences with running water. Rates were based on the number of faucets in use, the type of business that customers operated and the livestock they owned. A residence with one tap was charged $5.00 and a private bathtub cost an additional $2.00. Saloon keepers paid $7.00 for one faucet, $3.00 for each additional faucet and $1.00 for each billiard table. Each cow a person owned cost $1.00. People who failed to pay their bill were subject to a $50.00 fine and ninety days in the county jail."
According to urban folklore (i.e. local comedians), should a virgin ever graduate from Eastern Michigan University, the tower will crumble to the ground.