Watershed History: Roxborough Pumping Station Demolition

From the desk of Philadelphia Water Department historical consultant Adam Levine:


Roxborough Pumping Station, 1961


Roxborough Pumping Station, 2010

As of July 7, the old Roxborough Pumping Station was in the process of being demolished. This piece of the city’s water supply history had been out of commission since 1962, and as shown in the color photos (taken by city photographer Richard Goldey in December 2010), it had lately become a graffiti-covered ruin. The black and white photos were taken in 1961, just before the plant was taken out of service. The high roofline once accommodated huge coal-fired steam pumping engines, which were replaced by the much smaller but much more efficient electric pumps shown in the 1961 photo below. Even in its derelict state, the former grandeur of this public building, designed to be both functional as well as beautiful, is still apparent. 


Interior of Roxborough Pumping Station, 1961


Interior of Roxborough Pumping Station, 2010

Related: Read our recent post on the Roxborough Water Works.