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Atlanta Water Works photographs

Collection number: ahc.VIS280

Scope and Content

This collection contains images of the construction and the expansion of Atlanta's second water works station located on Hemphill Avenue. Included are images of the construction of pipes to bring water from the Chattahoochee River. Photographs also consist of images of construction workers extending the water pipeline on Marietta Street and Walton Street; pipeline crossing under the Seaboard Air Line railroad yards near Chattahoochee Avenue; and the exterior of the Hemphill Avenue station.


  • 1887-1924, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

The establishment of Atlanta's first public water works system in 1875 was the culmination of a movement begun in 1866 by councilman Anthony Murphy. Murphy served as the first elected president of the Board of Water Commissioners. Shortly afterwards, the Atlanta Canal and Water Works Company was created with its mission to “secure for the city a constant and plentiful supply of water.” In 1869 the company was charged with the task of conveying water into the City of Atlanta from Peachtree Creek or any other stream. A new plan and site was selected on Poole’s Creek, a headwater of South River and the present site of Lakewood Park, becoming the source of Atlanta’s first water supply. In 1893, engineer Robert M. Clayton designed Atlanta’s second water works pumping station located on Hemphill Avenue at Fourteenth Street. With rapid population growth and tremendously increased demands of water in the City of Atlanta, engineers created an entirely new water system expansion using treated water from the Chattahoochee River and filters from the old South River station. Under the new City Charter of 1974, the Water Department became the Bureau of Water (later named the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management).


56 image(s) (56 black and white photographic prints)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1974


VIS 280 was previously cataloged as AWW.

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2018.

Atlanta Water Works photographs
In Process
Felicia D. Render
March 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305