Built in 1898, The Waterworks was once the pumping station for the first water utility in St. Augustine. It remained in service until a new water plant opened on West King Street in 1927.

The site was developed into Davenport Park in 1928, and the building renovated for use as a community center that housed the St. Augustine Little Theatre, the St. Augustine Arts Club, and the St. Augustine Garden Club. This conversion of The Waterworks into a community center was one of the earliest adaptive use projects in the history of St. Augustine. Site improvements included converting the aerating basin to a wading pool for children and constructing a low coquina concrete wall along the San Marco side of the property. An entrance feature was constructed of materials originally used at the ballpark at Francis Field.

The brick building was closed in 2005 out of safety concerns. The City secured grant funding to stabilize the building and complete its restoration. The Waterworks was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 because of its association with Jo Conn Guild, a nationally significant engineer, and F.A. Hollingsworth, one of St. Augustine’s most prominent architects.

In 2022, the St. Johns Cultural Council leased The Waterworks from the City to dramatically increase access to arts, culture, and heritage programming for residents and provide much-needed space for St. Augustine-based organizations to meet and host community events. The Cultural Council has made extensive improvements to the interior of the building to facilitate concerts, theatrical performances, literary events, exhibitions, educational programming, community meetings, and more. The on-site staff ensures that the space is well managed and cared for and collaborates with community partners to create and present high-quality programming year-round.

Learn more about the history and restoration of The Waterworks.