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Cool Spring Reservoir Pumping Station

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1878. 10th and Van Buren sts.
  • Cool Spring Reservoir Pumping Station (W. Barksdale Maynard)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

“Coolspring” was the country house of Caesar A. Rodney Jr. at 11th and Broom streets. A pile of stones marked the site as late as the 1940s. A reservoir was built nearby in 1877 and a fashionable neighborhood sprang up. Cool Spring Park, originally with fountains and rare trees, long hosted the Wilmington Flower Market (1920s–1950s). The pumping station, a compact brick building of Queen Anne style with elaborate corbeling, a clipped gable at the back, and a big, octagonal cupola at the front, contained an engine and two boilers. After it was decommissioned, it housed the Society of Natural History of Delaware from 1910 to 1949, which was founded by botanist William M. Canby. Postwar growth in Wilmington required the pumping station to return to service, and its windows were replaced with glass blocks. Later, it was renovated by a Baltimore firm (1978, Whitman, Requardt and Associates, engineers) and again in 2003 by the Wilmington firm MGZA.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Cool Spring Reservoir Pumping Station", [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, 130-131.

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