Friday, October 11, 2013

Buffalo, New York: Colonel F.G. Ward Pumping Station

It's always fun to go inside of buildings that aren't usually open to the public. Such was the case with the Colonel F.G. Ward Pumping Station, which had an open house.

The building itself is about a century old, and right at the entrance to LaSalle Park along the waterfront in Buffalo. (Where else should a water pumping station be?) It's a striking structure from the outside.

The citizens of Buffalo thought they deserved better water in the 1890s. It took until 1907, but the state of New York finally took action and started construction. The facility opened in 1915.

Pictured above is the main room, complete with the old five steam-driven engines. Each is capable of sending millions of gallons of water per day through the pipes of Buffalo. Electric pumps were installed in 1938, but the old units were used as backups until 1975. The facility received a modernized look with new controls in 1983.

The old engines still grab your attention, though. They look like something out of a Fritz Lang movie - even with the black-and-white look.

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