History of Louisville Water Tower Park

Louisville Water Tower Park is home to Pumping Station No. 1 and the 185-foot Water Tower, which were the two original facilities when Louisville Water Company began operation on October 16, 1860. The buildings represent industrial architecture combined with symbolism and function.

Chief Engineer Theodore Scowden, and his assistant Charles Hermany, designed the structures in the Classical Revival style. Scowden believed the facilities, “would be regarded as the most elegant and commodious for water works purposes in the country.”

Pumping Station No. 2 was built in 1893 along with a small boiler house and smokestack. Pumping Station No. 3 went into operations in 1919 with a larger boiler house built to replace the original.

In 1971, the iconic Pumping Station No.1 and Water Tower were designated a National Historic Landmark.

Shortly after Louisville Water opened, the site became a popular destination for picnics and summer strolls. That spirit of community remains today. Every year, thousands of people visit the site to attend events and festivals, take educational tours or see the amazing architecture and beautiful view of the Ohio River.