WaterWorks Museum Presents Next “Out of the Archives” Feature
The WaterWorks Museum at Louisville Water Tower Park is kicking off its spring and summer season with a new Out of the Archives display, Garden Spot of the World: The History and Restoration of the Crescent Hill Gatehouse and Reservoir. The display, which is open now, is part of the museum’s "Out of the Archives” series, periodic temporary exhibits that share Louisville Water's extensive collection of photographs, films, artifacts and architectural drawings, all selected around a central theme.
Garden Spot of the World: The History and Restoration of the Crescent Hill Gatehouse and Reservoir was selected and designed to coincide with the completion of the recent repair and restoration project at the Gatehouse and the Reservoir surrounding it, now a highly popular site for walkers and runners from throughout the community. The $2.4 million restoration began in 2013. Louisville Water officials re-opened the Gatehouse and Reservoir to the public on Wednesday, May 13th, when the company’s extremely successful “Walking Wednesdays” guided tours resumed.
In 1879, Chief Engineer Charles Hermany designed the The Crescent Hill Gatehouse and Reservoir with a vision of giving Louisville a more “pure” supply of water and a recreational setting. The three-story gatehouse was modeled after a castle Hermany had seen along the Rhine River in Germany. The gatehouse contained the valves to control the flow of water in and out of the reservoir. The Gothic design, ornamental details and urns to denote the flow of water made the gatehouse a destination for family picnics, wedding photographs and visitors traveling through Louisville by train.
Today, the reservoir is still part of Louisville Water’s operations. The original valves are inside the Gatehouse and the area around the reservoir remains a popular gathering place. The Crescent Hill Reservoir and Gatehouse were named Kentucky Historic Marker Sites in 2010.
The display’s artifacts include a wheelbarrow like the ones used to excavate the original site, pieces of original tile from the recently restored sloped terra cotta ceiling and original slate from the Gatehouse roof that was just replaced. 3D photography viewed through a stereoscope highlights the original construction. Photos and early film recount the many community uses of the facilities as well as outline the phases of the recently completed restoration.
The name of the display comes from a quote in an April 1889 edition of the Courier-Journal that reported that conventioneers to the American Water Works Convention “ mounted the top of the tower (of the Gatehouse) and viewed such a beautiful landscape as can only be found in this garden spot of the world.”
The WaterWorks Museum opened in 2014 and is located in the west wing of Louisville Water’s Original Pumping Station. The Museum highlights Louisville Water’s considerable archive of historic photographs, some dating back to 1860, films and memorabilia, and allows visitors to discover the company’s contributions to safe drinking water through its innovations in science and engineering
Development of the WaterWorks Museum is part of Louisville Water’s extensive education programming which reaches over 50,000 people annually with programming that extends into classrooms throughout the region as well as through tours of Louisville Water facilities by collaborations with schools, community organizations and cultural attractions.
The WaterWorks Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 10am -5pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 3pm.
Admission to the WaterWorks Museum ranges from $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for youth. Children under five are free. The museum offers discounts for families and those with a military and student ID.
For more information visit LouisvilleWaterTower.com.