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128-0039 Crystal Spring Steam Pumping Station

Crystal Spring Steam Pumping Station
Photo credit: David Chrisman, 1979

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/28/1979

NRHP Listing Date 05/23/1980

NRHP Reference Number 80004220

Manufactured in 1905 by the Snow Steam Pump Company of Buffalo, N. Y., the water pump at the Crystal Spring Steam Pumping Station in the city of Roanoke is believed to be the only one of its type to survive. A kinetic wonder for its time, the pump employs the Corliss method of valve control, a technical breakthrough for the period. It drew water from Roanoke’s Crystal Spring until 1957, supplying the city with a reliable water source during its years of rapid growth. Restored in the 1990s, the pump, with its elaborate flywheel, pistons, and gears, was then exhibited by the city as an artifact of industrial technology. This remarkable relic of the machine age is housed in a plain industrial structure on the edge of Crystal Spring Park.

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: December 2, 2021