Baltimore: Public Works Museum

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

"Public Works" is putting it a bit strongly - basically this is the old sewage pumping station, rescued and given a new life as a museum. But all of Baltimore's sewage still passes though here, and you can certainly smell it! It's an interesting place to visit, particularly if you combine it with a trip to the Shot Tower and then a warm coffee in one of the neighbouring new hotels. And a comparison with Bazalgette's Cathedral of Sewage in London wouldn't go amiss.

The modern electric power plant is relatively compact (well, relatively...) compared with the coal furnaces which used to power the operation - it's amazing to consider what a dirty messy place this must have been for most of the 20th century. These days the space is largely given over to a museum focussing on "where water comes from, and where it goes" - which is a fascinating tale. There's also a good section featuring on all the garbage trucks and street-sweeping machines a modern city needs. Best of all, they sometimes let you into the pumping area itself...and it's a pretty weird feeling standing atop all of Baltimore's sewage!

Here's a link to the Official Public Works Museum site

Baltimore Public Works Museum (i.e. the Sewage Pumping Station)

Massive hoppers in the ceiling used to drop coal into the furnaces

A fine collection of manhole covers

Sorry, that should be "inspection hole covers"

A reminder of times past (they also have lots of chamber pots!)

A really good demonstration of "what's under our streets"

All of Baltimore's toilet waste goes through here...!

I wonder how close any of them actually came to the sewage...?

The "modern" electricity supply

The main control panel

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