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Preserving Our Timeless, Historic Landmarks


Louisville Water Company

Louisville Water Company’s roots trace back as far as 1860, with some of the buildings still powering today’s regional water supply, dating to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Over time, wear and tear takes its toll, even on the most well-built structures.

When JRA was charged with breathing new life into these extraordinary architectural gems, we pledged to celebrate the vision of the original designers and to reinvigorate the buildings in their intended forms. And with the drinking water of nearly 1 million people at stake, a delicate touch was essential.


“JRA’s work to restore the company’s Gothic Gatehouse and its last remaining steam engine will help Louisville Water beautifully share its nearly 160-year story of delivering drinking water. ”

Kelley Dearing Smith
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Louisville Water Company


Restore Our Community Landmarks

After years of service, two of Louisville Water Company’s buildings, Pump Station #3 and the Gatehouse at Crescent Hill Reservoir, were in need of restoration. The time had come to rehabilitate these highly visible community landmarks.

Maintain the Integrity of Original Materials

Extensive research was conducted to identify the origin of the buildings’ materials, such as limestone and marble, so that replacement materials would integrate seamlessly.

Improve Functionality

While the project was restorative in nature, potential for functional improvements were identified and implemented whenever possible.

Minimize Environmental ImpactS

Due to the buildings’ proximity to the Ohio River and to the Reservoir where the city’s water supply is stored, great care was taken in sourcing the cleaning agents for the projects.

What resulted is a re-introduction to the community of beautiful landmarks as they originally appeared over 100 years ago


attention to detail


adaptive reuse

Each building presented unique challenges...

From building a custom-scaffolding system designed to “float” over the reservoir, while only lightly touching the exterior facade.

To securing the most environmentally friendly water-based cleaning agents to ensure no contaminants entered the city’s reservoir basins.

To restoring one of only two remaining water pump steam engines in the U.S. through a process called “sponge blasting”.

To working in and over a major river system

But what excites us the most is

honoring century-old architectural legacies and the chance to share them with our community.


“The sense of pride that stems from historic preservation projects is like no other. In many ways you’re working with those that designed and built the original structure years ago while leaving your own legacy for years to come.”

Timothy Graviss
Senior Associate, JRA Architects

At JRA we celebrate architectural legacies. Ready to start a conversation about your historic preservation needs?