Mark Trier, FAIA,
Louisville Water Company Gatehouse | Louisville, Kentucky
The Louisville Water Company’s Gatehouse at the Crescent Hill Reservoir - originally opened in 1879 and recently designated a Kentucky Historic Site - is a testament to the visionary efforts to provide clean drinking water to the city of Louisville. The gatehouse contains valves that controlled the water levels of a 100-million-gallon reservoir that served as a major source of the city’s water supply and remains a part of the company’s operations today.
After years of service without preservation efforts, the interior and exterior of the facility was in need of significant restorative care, and JRA Architects was selected to provide the “TLC” a landmark like this deserves. Part of the restoration project included cleaning and repairing the elegant limestone and marble veneer, as well as the original steel windows and cast iron grand stairs. And because the gatehouse is situated atop the pre-treated water source for the city, great care was taken to secure environmentally friendly materials to ensure no contaminants entered the reservoir basins and to properly preserve the original stone veneer. Water-based cleaning agents were sourced to meet the stringent set of criteria. During the exterior restoration phase, a custom-scaffolding system was designed to “float” over the reservoir, while only lightly touching the exterior façade of the gatehouse, in an effort to minimize any impact on the original structure.
Today the gatehouse is perched majestically over the reservoir, reflecting its original beauty from the 1800’s and is open to the public for tours while remaining an important part of the Water Company’s operations.