Curious what’s inside the Gothic-style structure at the Crescent Hill Reservoir? Take a look inside our beautiful Crescent Hill Gatehouse during our popular Walking Wednesdays program, which will kick off for the season on Wednesday, May 8! Walking Wednesday tours provide information about the history of Louisville Water’s architecture and operations.
Louisville Water staff offers guided tours the second Wednesday of the month from May through September from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Walking Wednesday is held at the Gatehouse and the Crescent Hill Reservoir, located on Reservoir Avenue between Frankfort Avenue and Brownsboro Road. The reservoir is located across from the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant at 3018 Frankfort Avenue.
The Crescent Hill Reservoir and Gatehouse opened in 1879 to supply a 10-day supply of water to the city. The gatehouse is still an integral part of operations, containing valves that control the flow of water in the reservoir. The volume of water in the reservoir, 110 million gallons, is almost the amount Louisville Water produces daily. Designed by Chief Engineer Charles Hermany, the reservoir and gatehouse provided Louisville a 10-day supply of water when it opened in 1879. The three-story Gothic structure was designed to resemble a castle Hermany saw along the Rhine River in Germany.
When it opened in 1879, the reservoir quickly became a popular walking destination which continues today. The Gatehouse, which sits in between the reservoir basins, was restored in 2015. The project included cleaning and repairing over 2,500 terra cotta ceiling tiles, installing a new slate roof and cleaning and repairing the limestone steps leading up the reservoir. The gatehouse is believed to be one of the only buildings in this part of the United States with a slate roof on the exterior and terra cotta on the interior. The terra cotta is light-weight and in the late 1800s was a good material due to its fire resistance.
The event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, and September 11!