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Ypsilanti Water Tower, Winner of the Most Phallic Building contest
The World's Most Phallic Building contest was a contest held in 2003 by Cabinet magazine to find the building which most resembled a human phallus. The contest originated when writer Jonathan Ames drew the ire of Slate readers by claiming, in a diary later published in his book I Love You More Than You Know, that the Williamsburg Bank Buildingmarker in Brooklynmarker, New York Citymarker, New Yorkmarker, was the world's most phallic. This led Cabinet magazine to initiate a search of its own to find which building was truly the "world's most phallic." Cities and readers subsequently poured in their views and staked their claims to the magazine's editors.

After months of entries and discussion, the Ypsilanti Water Towermarker was announced as the winner, although the winner of a readers' poll was the Florida State Capitolmarker building in Tallahasseemarker. Another notable nominee was the Torre Agbarmarker (Agbar Tower) in Barcelonamarker.

Cabinet magazine noted that the Ypsilanti Water Tower, called "the brick dick" by locals, "is clearly the world's most phallic." The tower was designed by William R. Coats and constructed as part of an elaborate city waterworks project. Located on the highest point in Ypsilantimarker, erection began in 1889, before the tower was finally completed in 1890, at a cost of $21,435.63. Made of Joliet limestone, the tower is 147 feet tall, has an 85 foot base and holds 250,000 gallons. Hoping to protect themselves from injury, the builders made at least four crosses in the stonework, one over the west door, an elaborate but difficult to find Greek Cross on the east side and two inside the water tower.


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