It stood for 102 years until this week. The former Smithfield Water Plant was torn down on Wednesday by demolition crews. The fate of the water plant had been discussed for several years until the town council voted in November to tear down the abandoned building.
This Fall, V.R. Phipps offered to buy the property from the Town of Smithfield for $25,000 in hopes of renovating the building and turning it into a winery. However, Councilman Perry Harris called the site on Front Street and adjacent to the Neuse River, a “sensitive piece of property” he hated to see the Town lose control over.
A new boat ramp will be built in 2016 next to the lot, and part of the property could be used for additional parking spaces.
The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation had requested the Town preserve the old water plant as a historical property.
In 1911, the Town of Smithfield issued a $55,000 bond for the construction of the water plant after it was passed by voters. The 1911 bond also included work for water, sewer, and an “electrical light plant” which were considered to be vital for the towns growth.
The water treatment was originally completed in 1913. Photos by Robin Stallings