BEG: Bangor Waterworks Building
~Outside & Courtyard~
For this description, we will approach the building from the south along the railroad tracks, take a clock wise walk around the perimeter, then head into the courtyard area. |
Before arriving at the Waterworks building, there is a boarded up house between the tracks and the river. This is not part of the waterworks complex and is boarded up pretty tight. Sometimes it is possible to enter at the back without removing any of the boards. Its a good little side expedition if you are in the area...
Approaching the Waterworks building building along the railroad tracks from the south, we see a one to two story brick building with a slate roof and a smokestack. A large section of the building is built out over the river and contains many broken out windows, at low tide we can see that this section of the building seems to be supported by many granite arches. A metal fence runs along a ledge overlooking the riverbank and ends near part of the building thats built out over the water. Connected to this section of the building is a small square dock with a garage door. The dock is very rotten and full of holes (one of our agents made one hole when he almost fell through a rotten section) but the wood supporting the railing around the edge of the dock is fairly stable. There is a missing panel in the garage door on the dock, it is a hole large enough for a normal sized person to easily fit through, it leads into the building section that's built out over the water.
From the wooden dock we walk out into a paved/gravel driveway and follow the south-west side of the building. Between two building sections in this area, is a passage leading into where the smokestack is. Behind the smokestack, the passage opens up into a small outdoor room. High on the south wall (about ten feet up) is a window that use to be open but has recently (June, 2000) been boarded up. It was a good place to enter before it was boarded up... nice and secluded, one of our climbers would go up the wall and lower down a ladder that use to be just inside the window. Then oneday we went back and the window was boarded up and the ladder was on the ground, smashed into several pieces. There are a couple other things of interest in this area... there is a space under one wall that is big enough for a small person to crawl under. We suspect that it goes in about ten feet and comes out at the end of another narrow passage between buildings in part of the "courtyard" area. There is also a hole at the base of the smokestack, it is large enough to crawl into but there is not much in there, just the inside of a smokestack.
The next section of the building has three big garage doors facing the driveway. Rounding the corner here, we come to what looks like it was once the main section of the complex. This section consists of one building that looks like it could be split up into three sections. The first section is the one with the three garage doors on one side. The middle section is a little taller, about two floors, and has a set of large double doors, these were once the main entrance to the Waterworks building. Above the doors is a granite block with "1875" carved into it. The third section of this part of the building is about the same size as the one with the garage doors and is rather non descript. Attached to a corner of this last section, is another building...
This large rectangular building sits close to the railroad tracks and is connected to a corner of one of the other sections in the complex. On the south-west side there is a plywood door with a padlock. Following along the edge of the building, we we come to the next corner. Where the building stops, a chainlink fence starts and continues along the tracks for a while. Through the fence we can look into part of the overgrown "courtyard". Along the lenght of the fence, at regular intervuls, are several "No Trespassing: Violators Will be Prosecuted" signs. Another building can be seen past the courtyard. This building is long and narrow and has many windows. From here, it looks like it is only connected to the rest of the buildings by a long raised cement wall with a walkway and railings on the top. Still following along the fence, we come to it's corner which is near the long, many windowed building. A walk down over the river bank will lead us to the end of the chainlink fence. There is easy access to the courtyard area and the long building by going around the end of the fence and back up over the riverbank. One end of the long building is very close to this spot. The door at this end is sometimes boarded up and sometimes it is not. We are now in the courtyard...
The courtyard is the area inside the fence, and between the main building sections and the long narrow building. It is devided into two sections. Part of the upper coartyard is the part that could be seen through the chainlink fence. The other part of the courtyard is a lower, steep walled section that fills with water when the tide comes in. The lower courtyard takes up about 75% of the courtyard area. Moving around the small end of the lower courtyard, we come into one end of the upper courtyard. Now we take a short walk through some overgrown bushes and brambles to the large rectangular building where the chainlink fence started. On the corner of this building that faces the courtyard, is a short section of chainlink fence that runs along a ledge overlooking the lower courtyard. Climbing over the fence will get us to a ledge that goes all around the inside edges of the main building of the complex. The ledge is a bit high and unstable in some areas but it goes to other areas of the upper courtyard and there are many entrances into the building along the way. There are also several places that lead down into the lower courtyard, into a small sectioned off area which seems to be intended as a reservour seperate from the main area of the lower yard(we used to call this area "the secret courtyard", but now try to decide between "the flooding water-pit of death", and the "drowning pit" because it fills with water as the tide comes in), and into the areas under some of the buildings.
A tall cement wall with a walkway and railings at the top connects the long, narrow building to the large building thats built out over the water. This walkway/wall separates the lower courtyard from the river. at the end near the long narrow building, right in the middle of the walkway, is a square pit, at least twenty feet deep. If someone falls in and is still alive, they might be able to get out through a hole in the wall that leads out to the river, or they might be stuck down there.
This concludes our tour of the outside and courtyard of the Waterworks Building.
|Photo, viewpoint from the southwest, standing near the railroad tracks. Medium tide.||
~Outside & Courtyard~
Basements & Tunnels
Dam & Slipway
Main BEG Index.
|Photo of the front of the building. Large rectangular building is just out of view to the left.|
Photo from under the old loading dock outside of the swing room. Sudden collapse of rotten floor sections is a dangerous part of exploring the Waterworks. The holes in this dock were made by people almost falling through.|
|Photo looking across the Drowning Pit/"secret courtyard" at mid-tide. Visable on the other side are passages from one of the basement areas, and at least two places that once had tunnels or passages but were bricked/stoned in long ago.|
|Photo looking towards the other side (towards the vantage point of the previous photo) of the Drowning Pit. The tide has gone out a bit in this pic and the top of the arches/lower tunnels are just peeking into view. At low tide there are only a couple of deep streams running across the broken up floor.|
|Photo, looking down the handrailed walkway atop the wall which seperates the drowing pit or secret courtyard from the lower yard. Notice that the handrail at the far end is not connected to the floor, watch out for things like that - quite often they are no longer something that can be counted on to provide any degree of safety.|
|Photo of the inward facing side of the building that we described as being partially built atop low arches over the water, and is often called the "swing room" building. In the section detailing basement areas there is mention of wood-lined shafts that lead down into rooms with turbines. The outsides of some of these shafts, which are like gates to control the flow of water, are partially visable in this picture.|
|Photo looking across the lower yard from atop the outer wall/walkway near the long/gatehouse building. right about in the middle of this photo is the vantagepoint from which the previous three photos were taken. The area with the tree near the center of the photo is part of the upper/dry yard, with an alley which leads in between two sections of the building. We mentioned this area in our description of the alleyway on the other side of the complex, where the smokestack is located.|