The Dubuque Shot Tower is one of the few remaining structures in the United States constructed to mill lead shot, operating as a shot tower until 1859. The structure rested along the banks of the Mississippi River to take advantage of its location near the lead mining areas in nearby Illinois and Wisconsin. The tower itself is a 120-foot high masonry construction with a stone base. It was repurposed from 1880-1911 as a fire watch tower for a local lumber yard until a fire destroyed the original wooden stairs, leaving no means to access the tower interior for maintenance and repairs.
HPZS was retained by the City of Dubuque as the Architect for the historic documentation, design of the restoration, and adaptive reuse project. HPZS investigated the tower and developed a phased plan for its repair and restoration. As part of the Dubuque Riverfront Renewal project, the tower is preserved as a Dubuque icon and a visual focal point, as well as an observation platform. Additionally, the Dubuque Shot Tower was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.