Blog Post

Memorable Projects Throughout the Years - 90th Anniversary

As PRELOAD celebrates our 90th year of service, we want to share some memorable projects. However, Preload’s history contains thousands of unique, qualified tanks for this list of notable projects.

As Preload’s Dan McCarthy states, “Every Preload Tank project is unique. Every tank is possible because of a set of skilled, dedicated, & passionate teams. These teams consist of Sales, Engineering, Construction Management, Purchasing & Accounting, Custom Shop, Safety, and Field Operations Crews. The success of each project depends upon all of these special forces acting together for the same purpose. Preload strives to economically build a high-quality prestressed concrete storage tank that serves communities for many generations, and that upholds Preload’s reputation as the Industry Leader.”

Though every Preload tank is remarkable for its very own reasons, we cannot share them all. However, these unique, history-making projects we picked helped define who Preload is today.

Old But Gold:

First, Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to the Washburn Water Tower. William S. Hewitt of The Preload Co. designed and built this project in 1932, the first known prestressed concrete tank. The tower stands 110 feet tall and holds over 750,000 gallons of water. In 1983, Minnesota listed the Washburn Water Tower on the National Register of Historic Places. The sculptures of eagles and the “Guardians of Health” contribute to this tank’s aesthetic beauty. This project marks the beginning of Preload’s tank journey.

Next, two historic tanks marked monumental engineering advancements for Preload. On the left is the 2.0 million gallon tank in Indian Head, Maryland, a strand-jacked tank. On the right is Preload’s first rod prestressed standpipe tank constructed in 1936, a 1.5 million gallon tank in New Britain, Connecticut.

Next, the emergency tank replacement for the City of Detroit, Michigan, displayed many of Preload’s capabilities. This tank is an entirely backfilled tank with a column-supported flat slab roof. The project featured winter construction through grueling weather conditions with heavy 37-ton wall panels precast in a plant off-site and trucked to the job site. The project’s rapid completion showed the dedication and passion Preload brings to the industry. Amazingly, we won the job despite submitting “incomplete” proposal drawings. Also, we beat our competitor, who had a slightly lower price. This feat was possible because of our reputation and dedication to our craft.

Big and Bold:

Next, the Catonsville, MD (Baltimore County) 20 MG reservoir set a record that advanced the industry. It is the world’s most vast free-span spherical shell dome at over 312 feet! Preload constructed this massive, challenging project in 1991.

Finally, Preload’s recent completion of three 22,000,000 gallons water tanks for the Fullerton Finished Water Reservoirs in Baltimore, Maryland, made history once again. Additionally, Preload developed the final tank design that met the owner’s goals for design, function, aesthetics, and long-term durability. Preload completed this project in 2020.

In short, these few shared projects shaped Preload’s history. Each project we take part in gives us many stories to show and tell. To learn more about other Preload projects, click here!


PRELOAD is the global pioneer of wire-wound prestressed concrete storage tanks, with more than 3,700 tanks completed to date. Since constructing the first wire-wound prestressed concrete tank in the 1930s, the industry recognizes PRELOAD as innovators. PRELOAD serves clients across the United States with offices in Kentucky, New York, Texas, and Massachusetts.

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