Dubuque Shot Tower

The Dubuque Shot Tower, a rare survivor in the United States designed for lead shot milling and operational until 1859, stands proudly on the banks of the Mississippi River. Strategically situated near lead mining areas in Illinois and Wisconsin, this 120-foot-high masonry tower features a sturdy stone base.

Repurposed as a fire watch tower for a local lumber yard from 1880 to 1911, the original wooden stairs were destroyed in a fire, resulting in the tower becoming inaccessible for maintenance and repairs.

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The City of Dubuque engaged Nurture as the Architect for the project, entrusting them with historic documentation, restoration design, and adaptive reuse. Nurture conducted a comprehensive investigation of the tower and developed a phased plan for its repair and restoration.

As part of the Dubuque Riverfront Renewal initiative, the tower has been preserved as a prominent icon of Dubuque, serving as an observation platform. The Dubuque Shot Tower was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.