One of Shreveport's most notable landmarks is having trouble keeping its doors open. The McNeill Street Pumping Station has been around for 125 years. It's now part of the Shreveport Water Works Museum and houses the last operating steam powered municipal water works plants in the country.
In July of 2011, the museum received a $15,000 budget cut from the Secretary of State's Office. That forced its Executive Director Dale Ward to lay off part-time employee, reduce the number of days the museum is open, and delay repairs.
Now the museum has one part-time worker and it's left to rely heavily on volunteers to keep its doors open.
"It's a national historic landmark, one of only two in Northwest Louisiana. We think it's too important just to let it be locked up and closed up and allowed to deteriorate," said Ward.
According to Ward, the interior repairs needed to fix the roof and the mortar in the walls could cost between $300-$500,000. He said that is something the McNeill Street Pumping Station Preservation Society can not afford at this time.
"One of these days something is going to have to be done," said Ward. "We can't just coast along forever but right now that's what we're doing."
The museum is open: Tuesdays 9 a.m.- 12 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and donations are accepted.