Visit the 1860's Pumping Station

February 5, 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015Take a walk back in time with us and visit the Pumping Station and Water Tower as it looked in 1860, Louisville Water Company's first year of operation. When first built, the Pumping Station required smoke stacks to release the smoke generated by engines and pumps housed inside the building. Two enormous Cornish-beam engines filled the center of the Station, each containing a steam cylinder measuring 70 feet in diameter. Three boilers for each engine were in the two matching wings. The engines worked alternatively and could each supply six million gallons of water a day (today we average 119 million gallons a day). The initial equipment operated for nearly fifty years and was dismanteled in 1911.  The smoke stacks were removed in the early 20th century.  Also gone are the chimneys that were once on the Pumping Station roof.  Although the Water Tower still looks the same, it is quite different.  The original Water Tower’s shaft was blown over during the 1890 Tornado.  It was rebuilt to match the original design, which was a 169-foot wooden tower created to enclose the standpipe. The Water Tower is the oldest and most ornamental of its kind in the United States.   To learn more about Louisville Water's history, visit Louisville Water Tower Park. There you can spend time in the museum and go on a tour of the current pumping station.