Water Signs…, Reclaiming Tarrytown’s Former Pump Station

How many times have you driven past the old Eastview Pumping Station at the east end of the Tarrytown Lakes just short of the Saw Mill Parkway entrance and wondered what might become of a fine old building that has long been on its way to a lonely and ultimate demise? The answer may be coming in the way of a refurbished multi-use building outlined in a commissioned feasibility study presented to the Tarrytown Board during a recent work session.

Produced by the Irvington architectural firm of Earl Everett Ferguson, plans were submitted to the Board. Village officials were careful to point out that this was a first step in a possible long-term solution to settling what was turning out to be a “question mark” building. Obviously, the economic climate at the moment would put any additional unplanned expenditures “on hold,” but the new study indicates that the final result for the building could be exciting and, for many in the Village, just plain fun. The Tarrytown Lakes Committee, which was originally charged with developing a plan to achieve a “sustainable and healthy ecology for the lakes district,” recommended that the Pumping Station be repaired and restored as either a recreational facility or an environmental education center.

imagesFour major components have emerged from the original study: (1) the environmental education segment; (2) meeting, event, and exhibition space; (3) café and trailhead facility; and 4) kayak/boat storage.

The Pump Station was built in the late 1880’s, took up over 70 acres, and supplied approximately 800,000 gallons of water a day to the Village. According to the Ferguson summary of the project, the building is currently not insulated and domestic water service will need to be replaced. There is currently no connection to a public sanitary sewer and electrical services will need to be upgraded or replaced. The existing windows and doors are wood and, though there are significant signs of decay, many windows and doors could be restored.

The Pump Station could use its first floor for kayak storage, an information booth, a conference center and two multi-purpose meeting rooms. The second floor could be used as a café with a wide lake view and conference kitchen area. Detailed cost estimates at the moment are listed at $6.5 million, but finalizing actual cost structures may result in modifications to the original plan. There are obviously several options for funding such a project, one of them being public support.

Regardless of whether or not such a project takes place, it is exciting to consider the options. We may even consider adding a Pontoon Pump Station to help with the irrigation of the farmlands.

The possibility of refurbishing a great old building into a finished and reusable landmark at the end of the scenic Tarrytown Lakes is, indeed, an idea that is well worth pursuing.

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About the Author: Arnold Thiesfeldt