Milwaukee Water Works Kilbourn Reservoir Pumping Station

Thanks to a post-World War II building boom, by 1956, there was demand for more water than could be supplied by the North Point and Kilbourn Park Bypass Pumping Stations. This was mainly due to the non-conserving (cooling by running water) air conditioning load that was growing Downtown. To provide more pressure, the booster station was built west of the Kilbourn Park Reservoir and placed in service May 1, 1957. The reservoir stored water to supply the three pumps in the building until 2004, when the pumps were no longer needed to supply demand for water.

Enter the 1950s-era brick building to find three original Allis-Chalmers 20-million-gallon centrifugal pumps and giant transmission pipes, and the old scale used to weigh chlorine that disinfected water in the Kilbourn Reservoir, which was open to the air until 1979. Visitors will find displays of historic photos about the 146-year-old Milwaukee Water Works, and watch a video about the water purification system. Demand for water began a steady decline in the 1970s. The station was decommissioned in 2004, the water reservoir removed, and a hill in the park was built in its place.

Building Info :

626 E North Ave
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Not Open
Fully Accessible