This steel observation tower stood over the Tower Hotel on Riverway, near the current site of the Turtle. The hotel was opened May 31, 1894, by Capt. Brinker. The 250-foot tall steel tower was 50 feet square at the base. It had three galleries for observing the landscape and elevators, as well as stairs, which were little used.
A journalist wrote of the structure in 1930: "It was the highest tower ever built hereabouts. While far from beautiful in design, it was a paying investment, and from it superb views of Niagara in many directions were obtained."
The journalist wrote, "So incongruous did that tower appear in the landscape, that to the artistic eye of the papal delegate, when he was here, it marred every view of the scenery in which it appeared. He referred to it as the 'corkscrew' and declared that if he were rich he would be glad to buy it and tear it down, and thus add his mite to the preservation of Niagara's scenery."
On Tuesday, May 29, 1900, a Miss Florence Irene Leonard of Arlington, Ga., a missionary, went to the deck at the top of the tower at 3 p.m. She had the misfortune to be "forgotten and left all night." She was discovered at 9 a.m. on May 30 when a boy went up to place flags for Memorial Day, and was treated for shock and exposure, according to reports of the day.
The steel girders of the tower collected ice, which fell onto and repeatedly broke the skylight of a museum located just north of the base of the tower. The tower was demolished by court order in 1904 after long litigation.