The McMillan Reservoir Filtration Plant was built in 1905. At the time it was constructed it utilized an innovative sand filtration technology that replaced toxic chemicals for treating water. It operated continuously for 80 years. This abandoned facility in North West DC is an eerie and mysterious landscape. The wide fields are dotted with crop-circle-esque patterning of manhole covers extending the mechanical construct out into the at first seemingly empty grass plains. It is truly a vast machine.
One is reminded of the French modern architect Le Corbusier’s study of the early industrial grain silos of North America in his seminal book: Towards a New Architecture. It them he saw utility, simplicity, material efficiency, and exciting structural form.