Completed in 1912, the Eastern Avenue Sewage Pumping Station opened as a critical engine of Baltimore’s then brand-new sewer system. City engineers built the station to house enormous steam-driven Corliss pumps capable of pumping up to 27,500,000 gallons of sewage a day. The utility of the building did not prohibit a bit of style. The engineers graced the structure with copper roof, gables, and a cupola, turning it into a handsome monument to the growth and development of the city celebrated by proud civic leaders. In 1960, the city replaced the aging steam-driven pumps with electric turbines. The building continues to operate as a pumping station up through the present.
The Baltimore Public Works Museum occupied the building from 1982 up until the museum closed in 2010. The museum gave visitors a behind the scenes look at how a large city provides public works utilities to its citizens. The museum modeled phone lines, street lights, drains and pipes, and sewage disposal.