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Porter Rapid Sand Filter Plant

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1950–1954, Metcalf and Eddy. Porter Reservoir, 0.5 miles north of I-95, east of U.S. 202
  • Porter Rapid Sand Filter Plant (W. Barksdale Maynard)

Wilmington takes its drinking water from Brandywine Creek. Brandywine Pumping Station (WL50) forced water two miles through a forty-two-inch pipe to a thirty-five-million-gallon reservoir here on McKee's Hill, where the headquarters of 1907 still stands. Far larger is the facility (1950s) of pale brick and Indiana limestone, by a Boston engineering firm. The structure supplanted part of Rock Manor Golf Course (1937, expanded with WPA funds). The filter project was based on Metcalf and Eddy's report in 1948 on Wilmington's ever-in-creasing water needs. The tall structure with ribbon and corner windows is the Chemical and Filter Building, designed with eight rapid sand filter beds and huge steel washwater tanks on the third floor. Sixteen million gallons could be processed daily. The plant is one of Delaware's best examples of austere, International Style modernism of the postWorld War II period—a type fast disappearing today.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Porter Rapid Sand Filter Plant", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 46-46.

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