West Side Pumping Station / West Side Pool

Many years ago, the Evansville Water Works established a pumping station on the West Side to serve the growing part of town. It was located at the northeast corner of Pennsylvania St and Ninth Ave. A brick pumphouse was built on the corner, and a 250,000 gallon reservoir was located just to the left (north). It opened in 1892 and helped supplement the old Water Works building off Riverside Dr.

Sketch of the West End Pumping Station c1904
Sketch of the West End Pumping Station c1904
Map of the West End Pumping Station (1895 Sanborn)
Map of the West End Pumping Station (1895 Sanborn Map)

In 1900, when the Waterworks Department built its new plant off Waterworks Rd–where it still is today–the station was no longer needed and sat vacant. It was, however, called back into service for a short time when a cave-in occurred at the new facility in early 1904.

Gentlemen near the West  Side Pumping Station 1908
Gentlemen near the West Side Pumping Station 1908

Around 1909, city officials saw the potential of converting the old station into a pool. Famed local architect F J Schlotter was tasked with designing plans to renovate it. The reservoir was partially filled in (so it wasn’t so deep) and changing rooms were built around the perimeter. The West Side Pool opened in the summer of 1909 as the city’s first municipal bathing house.

Map of the new West Side Pool (bath houses have been added and the reservoir converted to a pool)
Map of the new West Side Pool.  Bath houses have been added and the reservoir converted to a pool (1910 Sanborn Map)
West Side City Pool 1919
West Side City Pool with the pumphouse in the background 1919

The pool remained opened into the early 1920s, but was abandoned after it was deemed unsafe.  It was later razed.  Around 1955 the West Side Expressway was built on Pennsylvania St, and today there is no trace of the old pool.

Where the pump station /old pool used to be
Where the pump station /old pool used to be (Google Maps)

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