Pittsburgh, PA - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is proud to announce the City of Pittsburgh Historic Landmark Designation of the Herron Hill Pump Station located at 4501 Centre Avenue in Oakland. Preservation Pittsburgh initiated the accolade in collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh, Councilman Daniel Lavelle, PWSA, Bellefield Area Citizens Association, and Schenley Farms Civic Association.
William S. Fraser designed the pump station in a Classical Revival style that incorporates Greek and Roman architectural elements. The structure was built in 1896 and remains an essential part of our water distribution system. Pump stations house equipment that directs water to higher elevations. When originally constructed, it provided water to the hilly eastern neighborhoods allowing for their rapid urban expansion. Oakland has long been an economic center of the city and is currently experiencing a new development wave. This designation's timing is essential to highlight the structure's significance to the community and continue to preserve it for future generations.
“Given the importance of clean and safe drinking water to healthy communities, we hope this historic designation will help to deepen understanding and appreciation of our municipal water and mechanical systems, both historically and today," shared Melissa McSwigan of Preservation Pittsburgh.
A City of Pittsburgh Historic Landmark Designation is intended to celebrate our rich history and to establish a foundation for further planning, grant funding, community engagement, and any potential changes to a historic resource. Several other public structures have recently been designated such as Mellon Park, the Jones & Laughlin Building, and the City-County Building.
PWSA's Chief Executive Officer Will Pickering added, "PWSA is not only a water utility but a caretaker of some of Pittsburgh's oldest structures. This designation is the first step towards ensuring responsible restoration when the time comes for upgrades to the pump station. I would like to thank our Senior Manager, Production, Jeff Turko, for working with Preservation Pittsburgh to complete their nomination."
The nomination was prepared by Jeff Slack of Time & Place Preservation Services. According to Preservation Pittsburgh, Jeff is an accomplished planner and historical researcher who has led preservation projects in the Pittsburgh area for the past fifteen years. His work includes documenting the significance of little-known architect William S. Fraser and his design of the Herron Hill Pumping Station in Oakland. Jeff is hosting a free, virtual talk about his research of the pump station on April 15th at 6:30pm. Eventbrite registration is required.
To learn more about the historic landmark designation process and read the entire nomination, visit the City of Pittsburgh’s website.