Crazy Facts About the Jones Beach Water Tower

Learn more about this iconic structure on Long Island.

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Anthony Quintano [CC BY 2.0 (]

This iconic structure has been mesmerizing beachgoers for almost 90 years. You might simply know it as “the pencil” or you might know the architectural inspiration for its design (spoiler alert: the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica) but this tower is more than a monument, it’s a fully functioning water tower supplying the park with all its fresh water.


Here we present some interesting and crazy facts about the Jones Beach Water Tower.


  • The traffic circle that surrounds the tower is where Wantagh State Parkway and Ocean Parkway meet
  • Many people know it as “the pencil point” or simply “the pencil” because of its shape
  • It was first built in 1930
  • The roof (the point) is made of copper and is 32 feet high
  • The tower is made of Ohio sandstone and Barbizon brick [Source: Curbed New York]
  • It measures 188 feet tall (or 231 feet tall depending on where you look up the info)
  • The tower extends more than 1,000 feet underground


Luca Aless [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]


  • The architectural inspiration is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, built in an Art Deco style
  • The tower supplies water for the entire park including Jones Beach Theater, water fountains, restrooms, and swimming pools
  • It holds over 300,000 gallons of water in its steel tank (encased by the tower)
  • The tower is off limits to the public
  • The seal of the state of New York is affixed to the tower facing toward Wantagh parkway
  • In 2010 the tower received a $6.2 million upgrade
  • This Long Island home is said to have been built with “the original wood, brick, and stone used to build the Jones Beach water tower…”