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Revitalizing Historic Tallahassee Waterworks

Tom Flanigan

An historic Tallahassee property is up for a revitalization, but local organizations are discovering finding a new purpose for the city’s old water building isn’t so easy. 

Tallahassee Waterworks, the former city water site, has been non-operational since 1958. It’s currently empty, at the corner of Gadsden and Gaines, right between Downtown and Cascades Park. Knight Creative Communities Institute is spearheading a push to revive Waterworks. The a local organization works to create “sense of place” projects around town, like the porch swings downtown, the Frenchtown Farmers Market, and the Discovery playground at Cascades. Alex Workman is on the organization’s Waterworks team.

He says, “It’s not something that only those at a higher financial status can go to, it’s not something that is specifically tied to the south side of town. It’s something where different people who might not normally gather together, would be a place of interconnection.” 

Knight Creative is researching ideas for the space by looking at community surveys, talking to architects, and learning about the building’s history. Once it does identify a few ideas, they’ll be proposed to the city, which currently owns the property.