One of the most highly anticipated architectural tours in Buffalo continues to be an inside glimpse of the fabulous Col. Francis G. Ward Pumping Station, featuring the five Holly Steam Engines. On Sunday June 18, The Industrial Heritage Committee, Inc. will be offering a tour of this impressive industrial facility. Here are some impressive facts about the station:
- The five Holly Steam Pumps were installed in 1914
- The 60 ft. giants operated until the late 1970s
- They weigh in at 1100 tons apiece
- They were the largest engines ever built by the Holly Manufacturing Company
- Each one pumped 30 million gallons of water a day
Those are some very impressive facts, when you stop to consider for a moment. Aside from the magnificent pumps, the other attraction is the building itself, with arched windows, tile walls, iron railings and street lights along the balcony.
It would be incredible to see this place open to the public someday, on a permanent basis. Until that happens (crossing fingers), the occasional tour is the only way that you’re getting in. Aside from the stunning industrial and architectural elements, the tour also features opportunities to view displays and photographs pertaining to the history of the station. A speaker presentation will be held at 1:30pm, which will explain the inner workings of the facility.
Learn about plans now in the early stages, to restore two of the engines back to operating status.
Incredibly, there are loose plans on the table to restore a couple of the engines back to operational state. Proponents of the initiative are hoping that anyone with steam engine experience or other expertise or interest, join the tour and then help to bring the project to a reality. How’s that for a weekend project?
Annual Tour of the Col. Francis G. Ward Pumping Station
The Industrial Heritage Committee, Inc.
Sunday June 18, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Doors open at 1 pm | Presentation about 1:30pm
No reservations are needed
Tour is free but donations are gratefully accepted but not mandatory
The Col. Ward Pumping Station is located at 2 Porter Ave., corner of D.A.R. Dr. in Buffalo NY 14201. If you plan on attending the event you need to utilize the entrance located on the D.A.R Dr. SE corner of the station. Parking will be available at the Centennial Pool lot in LaSalle Park.