“a definite must-stop for those with a bent toward mechanical engineering”
The Shreveport Water Works Museum at the McNeill Street Pumping Station has the very rare honor of being both a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The facility is a definite must-stop for those with a bent toward mechanical engineering and science. Opened in 1887 as the city's first water plant, it added filtration in 1890, an unusual technology at the time, and in 1914, became one of the first facilities in the nation to use liquid chlorine in the treatment process. Today, the entire physical plantp (pumps, filters and other machinery) remains in place after more than 100 years and is a rare example of an intact steam water works. The plant proved so durable that it was not retired from service until 1980!
The official description is right - this is a must-see for anyone who is interested in mechanical engineering, science, and history. We stopped by on the way out of Shreveport for a quick look and ended up staying for about an hour for a personally-guided tour through the entire plant. The guide, Kevin, also turned on the machinery for us and explained how everything worked, making it easy for an English major like me to understand. Not only is the machinery fascinating, but the architectural details still remaining in the building were wonderful to see. If you have time and any remote interest in this, you should stop! Also as a bonus, you get a small building of regional railroad memorabilia, a nice plus!
This is an old steam powered water treatment facility. It’s not fancy, but it is free. And like the official description says, it’s really interesting for engineering/tech geeks. Also has a small railroad trinkets museum and it looks like they are planning to add a locomotive in the future.
Takes about an hour to see everything.
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Shreveport Water Works Museum
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