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Thursday, February 6, 2014

EARLY WATER WORKS BUILDING, KENTUCKY






Lancaster's Water Works Building -- Vacant


What was that building used for is a common question when one first observes it. It so happens that this 1800s water works building has a history of protecting the town of Lancaster, Kentucky during its early beginnings.

 As a fairly young settlement in the 1800s there was a need for an organized effort to provide water to Lancaster for fighting fires. As a result a small nearby water reservoir in the countryside was put into use providing water to the pumps inside the water works building. From there the water was pulled up through the building's pumps and then out again  --  pumping through a lone water main which traveled about a few miles into the town of Lancaster. There the water use was reserved for the early fire fighters of the town.  

It now sits empty in a green space area -- providing beauty while still initiating queries from observers as to what the building was used for originally -- no markers identify it.




Deteriorating door frame and door. 
Otherwise the building appears to be in fairly good shape. 



28 comments:

  1. That is a cool building and that door!!! I love it!

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    1. turquoisemoon -- Somehow we forget that water was once not easily available for fire fighting. The building represents the long ago citizens that thought of solving that problem. thanks -- barbara

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  2. Wouldn't it be nice if we could become citizens again and work together for the common good.

    As always, a lovely photograph.

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    1. Florence -- Good thought. Great things can be accomplished if we all pull together! -- thanks -- barbara

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  3. Fairly locally formed and fired bricks, no doubt. The window to the right appears to have been much larger at one point, and bricked up to its present height. Old building are really special. I wish someone would remove that trash tree doing a number on the foundation.
    As always, thanks.

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    1. Joanne -- you have an eye for identifying the "old" in old buildings. I always look at the changes to a building as part of its "language." If we could wander through this little early building we could develop some theories as to why one window was made smaller, one shortened, brick repair near door and numerous other clues to formulate a theory. I bet you, like me, like to walk through old buildings and figure out how they were constructed, materials used and what were its uses. -- thanks -- barbara

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  4. That's interesting what you're saying to Joanne. I love the look of old buildings but guess I already have so much chatter going on inside my mind that there's no space left for these sorts of questions. Ah well.

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    1. Rubye -- As it should be -- we all have different minds and ways of observing. No reason why one should know why they like a particular building -- they can just immerse themselves in the likability of the place -- at least that is what I think. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  5. I love old brick buildings -- thanks for sharing this one!

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  6. Vicki - Thanks for the comment -- I thought this little building had a unique historical use. I have not run across one before but I am sure they are out there. I too love the patina of old brick. Stay warm -- barbara

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  7. Love the warm red brick colour. The window on the right looks as if it was once a doorway with a step up? Where the red bricks made locally?

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    1. claggle -- window on right might have been a longer window. There were no stairs when I took the photo, The area to the right in the photo shows quite a bit of re grouting. I do believe you are right that the bricks were made locally. It would be fun to revisit the old place and perhaps make some new discoveries about it. If I ever get that way again I will plan on doing just that. -- thanks -- barbara

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  8. Interesting history. Would you believe that Cambridge only got a regular supply of drinking water because King's College had been gifted a splendid fountain and needed a reliable source to operate it! The citizens of the town only got water to drink as a bi-product of this enterprise!

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    1. John -- What you tell me about Cambridge's fountain water needs plus the fact that Lancaster's need was for the firefighters -- is that perhaps many early water systems might have started with a single need rather than a town-wide plan. Early town water plans might have begun as branches off the single reason for bringing water to the town? thanks -- barbara

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  9. That looks like an interesting building to explore, if the inside was as exciting as the outside. A disused waterworks must be very special.

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    1. RuneE -- I heard conversation from some Historical Society members that they might make this building a project in the future. Let's hope they do -- thanks -- barbara

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  10. They were very industrious. Looks like it's still in pretty good shape.

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    1. Melissa -- Lancaster, Kentucky is a wonderful town full of all types of historical surprises that have yet to be recorded. Not a tourist town, yet has a very active Historical Society that has masses of data on many of their older buildings and culture. Some, like this building, has not been documented by them. Not yet at least. thanks -- barbara

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  11. Living where I do, where there are very few buildings of architectural note, either grand or vernacular, seeing a gem like this and learning its history is fascinating.

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    1. Hattie --I think getting past the Rockies, toward the west, there are not as many "old" treasures in architecture and cultural artifacts as east of the Rockies. Yet, I do believe they can be found with a little bit of luck and perseverance. Thanks for the nice comment -- barbara

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    1. Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the nice comment on my door photo -- barbara

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  13. Someone will turn it into a take-out stand.

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    1. Birdman -- I do believe that could be so if it were in a populated area but this little building still remains surrounded by countryside which I am sure is the reason it still stands. The land is also on county land. thanks -- barbara

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  14. We recently spent some time with friends in Maryville, Tennessee on our way home. They took us into Great Smokey N.P. where we saw gorgeous waterfalls and many preserved buildings from pioneer days. The signs bring them all to life so you know their use. Thanks for sharing about the "waterworks."......:)

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    1. troutbirder -- The Smokey N.P. is a beautiful place to visit. Waterfalls are fantastic. Stopping off there was like frosting on your cake after a nice relaxing "home away from home" trip away from the freezing snow and ice storms that the Midwest and East have been experiencing. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  15. Dear Barbara, It's a lovely building with its simplicity...You make me think about small towns & communities, the building speaks of them...Sometimes I'm amazed at how they & now huge big cities organize themselves. Lots of stories, tragic and joyful, must have come from the area of this building. Firefighters: true heros, still...Warm regards, Rita

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  16. Rita -- thanks for the nice comment. When I lived in KY I knew, many times, that I was walking through history that is real not some tourist place. Where I lived was populated with so much of the old culture. It is the piece I miss the most about KY.

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