Castle Gatehouse, Washington Aqueduct

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Castle Gatehouse, Washington Aqueduct
Georgetown pumping station castle.jpg
Pumphouse at Georgetown Reservoir
Castle Gatehouse is located in District of Columbia
Castle Gatehouse
Castle Gatehouse
Castle Gatehouse is located in the US
Castle Gatehouse
Castle Gatehouse
Location Near Reservoir Rd. and MacArthur Blvd. NW
Northwest Quadrant, Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°54′39″N 77°5′24″W / 38.91083°N 77.09000°W / 38.91083; -77.09000Coordinates: 38°54′39″N 77°5′24″W / 38.91083°N 77.09000°W / 38.91083; -77.09000
Built 1899–1901
Part of Washington Aqueduct (#73002123)
NRHP Reference # 75002048
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 13, 1975
Designated NHLDCP November 7, 1973

Castle Gatehouse, Washington Aqueduct is a pumping station at the Georgetown Reservoir on the Washington Aqueduct in The Palisades neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and contributes to the Washington Aqueduct National Historic Landmark.


In 1852 the United States Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a water supply for the city of Washington, using the Potomac River at Great Falls as its source. Construction of a 12-mile pipeline began in 1853, and portions of the system began operation in 1859. Little Falls Branch was used as an interim source until the pipeline was completed in 1864. The water was routed to Dalecarlia Reservoir, followed by Georgetown Reservoir.[1]

Improvements to the water system in the late 19th century included the Castle Gatehouse. The gatehouse was constructed at the Georgetown Reservoir to pump water into the four-mile long Washington City Tunnel that led to McMillan Reservoir, completed in 1902.[2][3] A filtration system was constructed at McMillan in 1905 and this system improved the quality of city water.[3][4][5]

Construction of the gatehouse began in 1899. The design was intended to replicate the Army Corps insigna. Portland cement plaster was used to replicate stonework and give the gatehouse an authentic castle appearance.[3]

The gatehouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 1975. It is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ways, Harry C. (1996). "The Washington Aqueduct: 1852-1992." (Baltimore, MD: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District)
  2. ^ Scott, Pamela (2007), "Capital Engineers: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Development of Washington, D.C., 1790-2004." p. 175. Washington, DC: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Publication No. EP 870-1-67. ISBN 978-0160795572
  3. ^ a b c McSwain, Jerrold D. (26 December 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form for Federal Properties" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 13 November 2009. 
  4. ^ U.S. National Park Service, Washington, DC (2001). "Washington Aqueduct." National Historic Landmark Nomination. Originally prepared March 1973; revised August 2001 (draft). Site No. 029-5198.
  5. ^ "DC Inventory of Historic Sites: C" (PDF). District of Columbia Office of Planning. Retrieved 13 November 2009.