Workshop of the World

stories of industry in & around Philadelphia

Lardner's Point Water Pumping Station, 1906
Milnor Street & Levick Street, Philadelphia PA 19135
(south of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge at Delaware River)

Harry C. Silcox, Ed.D., Workshop of the World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).

Lardner's Point pumping station, named after the captain of the ship which brought William Penn to America, was built in 1906. It pumped water from the Torresdale Water Works to the entire city east of the Schuylkill River. It was featured in the Practical Engineer in 1907 when it was providing water for 1.1 million Philadelphians. Located directly south of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, the plant consisted of two buildings constructed to pump twenty million gallons of water per day. The structure of the building more resembles a library than a water pumping station. Large windows, with fine brick work, make the structure distinctive despite its practical use.
In 1939, the City replaced the steam-powered pumping engines with electric engines. Today, only one of the buildings remains but it still functions as a pumping station for the Torresdale water works.

1  The Practical Engineer, Vol. XII, No. 2, March 1908, pp. 3-7.

Update May 2007 (by Torben Jenk):
Still functions as a pumping station for Philadelphia's Baxter Water Treatment Plant. Upon completion in 1906, it was the largest pumping station in the world.