click the photo to go to a full album of water works pictures.

click the photo to go to a full album of water works pictures.

About the 1883 Water Works

The 1883 Water Works was Fort Collins' first public works project. It is located along the foothills west of Fort Collins, where the historic Overland Trail runs through the property. It now boasts 23+ acres, 4 buildings, 2 ditches, vintage apple trees, and more.

  • The original Gothic Revival style pump house is an excellent example of late nineteenth-century industrial architecture. At the time, municipalities often favored picturesque Gothic Revival style public buildings. Few examples remain today.

  • The water plant’s rural location offers protection from development pressures. Cottonwood trees line Larimer County No. 2 irrigation canal and provide a scenic backdrop for the Water Works buildings. Larimer No. 2 leased the original Water Works supply canal from the city in 1906. The supply canal delivered water from the Cache la Poudre River to the Pump House during its years of operation.

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Poudre landmarks foundation & the 1883 Water Works

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PLF began management of this City of Fort Collins-owned facility in 1995.  The Friends of the Water Works began tours of the facility in the late 1990's. Since that time, thousands of guests have toured the facility, learned about local water history and the historic Overland Trail that runs through the property.


The Fort Collins City Council designated the 1883 Fort Collins Water Works structure a Local Landmark in 1971, and the Colorado Historical Society’s State Review Board placed the Water Works property on the State Register of Historic Properties in 1999.

A River of Stories

"A River of Stories" takes a short look at the Downtown section (working section) of the Cache la Poudre River. A video from the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District in partnership with the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, Archive & Collections at FCMoD with help from Poudre Landmarks and FC Public Media and starring Chris Mccullough!

What's next for the 1883 Water Works?

The Poudre Landmarks Foundation and the Friends of the Water Works administers the ongoing preservation work at the water works property. The State Historical Fund (SHF) a part of the Colorado Historical Society, provided several grants to complete planning, stabilization, and archaeological investigations at the property. Most recently the SHF, Poudre Heritage Alliance, the City of Fort Collins, and PLF funded the development of construction documents to further preserve and develop the site into a Northern Colorado water interpretation center. 



Water Works
2005 N Overland Trail
Fort Collins, CO 80521