The Waterworks Tower, Cagayan de Oro City’s iconic landmark located in the vicinity of Gaston Park and St. Augustine Cathedral, has just celebrated its Centennial or 100 years of existence. Now housing the City Museum, it is the city’s oldest public structure having survived the bombings during World War II and is a living witness of the city’s growth over the century.

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Construction began in 1919 and completed in 1922 and was used as the water reservoir of then Cagayan de Misamis with water coming from Malasag.

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Cagayan Waterworks Water Tower under construction in 1921 (City Museum of Cagayan de Oro and Heritage Studies Center)
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Pre-war group photo of the Misamis Provincial Treasury Force with the Municipal Treasurers. Behind them are the old Carcel Publica (Public Prison) and the Water Tower.

The Water Tower survived the onslaught of WW2 and continued to supply water to the community until the 1960s.

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Gaston Park and Water Tank in the 1950s – courtesy Amirhassan Nimor

As the city grew rapidly in the 1950s under the leadership of then Mayor Justiniano Romulo D. Borja, three more water systems were constructed. By the 1970s, additional water systems were built, slowly replacing the Water Tank’s function.

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In 1994, the Water Tower was used as the office of Barangay 1 up until the early 2000s when a new barangay hall was built near the tennis court fronting City Hall. It was then used as a darkroom by photographers of Gaston Park where they would develop films and print photographs.

In 2008, then City Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula, converted the Water Tower into the City Museum and opened to the public in 2010.

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You can see the original markings A.D. MCMXXII above the door which signifies A.D. 1922.

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