Historic Pumphouse

Pump House Jan 2024 (3) crop.jpg

The Pumphouse refers to a historic structure in Cheyenne's West Edge that was a component of the city's early water system. It is located off Ames Avenue adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad. The building had an important role in Cheyenne's early growth but is currently in a state of disrepair. City Council has made preservation of the pumphouse a priority for 2024.


The structure was completed in 1892 on land the City purchased from the UP. It functioned as a supplement to the City's original pumphouse at 28th and Central and was officially known as the City Water Works, West Side Pumping Station.

The building used the same type of sandstone as was used for the Union Pacific Depot downtown, all of which came from a quarry near what is now Horsetooth Reservoir. 

At its peak, the pumphouse could process 2 million gallons of water per day and could pressurize water to fire hydrants at 100 lbs/sq. in. During the summer months when demand was highest, the pumphouse operated 24 hours per day.

By the 1910s, new reservoirs west of Cheyenne were completed along with the Round Top Filtration Plant. As the new facilities came online, the pumphouse became obsolete and ceased its function as a pumping station in the 1920s.

Beginning in the 1920s and continuing into the 2000s, the pumphouse was used as an equipment maintenance and storage facility. Several additions and changes were made to the pumphouse over the years, including demolition of the original tall chimney in the 1970s to allow better truck access.

The building was vacated by the 2020s and has remained unused. 

Old Pumphouse Photo



Current Condition

The Pumphouse is in a deteriorated condition but can still be restored as a historic structure. Four main options to move toward preservation have been identified:

  • Mothball - preserving the building for future restoration and repurposing
  • Shell - restore the shell of the building
  • Partial Restoration - restore the shell and the major interior portions , readying the building for future use; and
  • Full Restoration - restore and repurpose the building in anticipation for a public use or multipurpose facility.

The City received cost estimates for each of those options in 2016, with amounts ranging from about $360,000 to $2.1 million.

In 2024, City Council opted to include the Pumphouse in their priorities for the coming year. The City is currently examining ways to restore the Pumphouse and identify a use for the restored building.