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The Waterworks Building in Davenport Park on San Marco Ave. will be on display for a tour on Saturday, January 25, following a presentation by Jenny Wolfe, the City of St. Augustine’s Historic Preservation Officer, at the St. Johns County Public Library Main Branch, starting at 10:30am. Registration is required and is available online at https://sjcpls.org/events or by contacting the library directly at 904.827.6940.
The presentation will provide a history of the building, starting with it being the city’s first water works pumping station, as well as an update on the recent reconstruction efforts to stabilize, rehabilitate, and restore significant building features. The most recent work was funded through historic preservation grants from the State of Florida.
During the walking tour, guests will see first-hand the renovations which included securing the exterior walls, restoring windows and doors, and the removal of the non-historic addition on the west side of the building. Historic finishes and materials are now visible on the inside although the interior restoration has yet to be completed.
The Waterworks building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1898 as the pumping station for the city’s first water utility and remained in service until a new water plant opened in 1927 on West King St. The site was then developed into Davenport Park and the building continued in use as a little theatre, then home for the St. Augustine Arts Club, and later as the St. Augustine Garden Club.
In 2005 the building was deemed unsafe when inspections reveled that mortar had been reduced to powder in some places threatening the stability of the brick walls that were carrying the load of a heavy truss system. The city began a diligent pursuit of historic preservation funding that would enable the restoration of the building.
For more information about the Waterworks Building, contact the city’s Planning & Building Department at 904.825.1065. Contact St. Johns County Library Main Branch at 904.827.6940 to reserve your spot for the presentation and tour on January 25. Download the event flyer.