As recently at 1985, the Pump House at Morris Arboretum was a sad mess, its roof open to the elements, its walls smothered by poison ivy. Built in 1908, the wheel historically was powered by a three-cylinder pump that pushed water uphill to a cistern in the tower of the mansion belonging to John and Lydia Morris.
It provided water for their household, and also for livestock and fountains in the garden. But by 1917, it was no longer in use, the arboretum having been hooked up to the new city water system.
The building remained, however, season in and out, year after year, weather and age taking a huge toll. An argument certainly could've been made to tear it down and perhaps that argument was made.
Instead, in 1994, the Pump House was restored. When I visited this week, it was churning away. I love this view.