Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 29, 1981):
Begun in 1754 and enlarged in 1762, the Bethlehem Waterworks are believed to be the first municipal pumping system to provide water for drinking and washing in the United States. The system served the city until 1832. The stone pumphouse, which shares architectural characteristics of other 18th-century Germanic buildings in Bethlehem, was restored in the 1970s. The waterwheel and pumps were subsequently reconstructed based on the original plans that had been preserved in the Moravian Archives in Germany.