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Signal Tower in Depot Town
(corner of Cross and River Streets in Depot Town)

Ypsilanti Press - October 22, 1991 - John Mulcary, Press Staff Writer: Tower to stand as Depot Town symbol - A new landmark, signaling the start of a new five-year business plan by Ypsilanti Depot Town merchants, began to take shape Saturday.

"It's going to be our landmark, our identification marker," Depot Town Association President William Frence said of a railroad crossing guard tower now under construction on the northwest corner of River and Cross Streets.

The tower, now about 20 feet high, is build in the style of one on the site in the 1800s. French said 26 volunteers, mostly from the Depot Town Antique Engine Club, helped put up the frame Saturday, with roofing, siding and finishing touches planned for this Saturday and Nov. 2.

French said the tower gables will slant at the same angle as the Depot Town signs in several parts of town, making the tower a recognizable symbol for the area.

"We didn't just stick up a sign that meant nothing," French said.

French said the tower idea was born in 1976 and the design drawn in 1981, but the association did not have the sum of $4,000 needed for the project until this year. The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority provided the money, French said. French estimated that without volunteer labor the cost would be about $12,000.

French said there had been much discussion of whether the tower should be called a signal tower or crossing guard tower, with the latter winning out, at least for now. He said the tower is the first step in a new five-year business plan for Depot Town. More of the plan should be unveiled in about two months, he said.

A small tree obscuring the tower from the south will be moved to a new location, French said. When finished, the tower's eight-sided dome will be illuminated from within, he said.