C and I visited The Bain Project this past Saturday and highly recommend that anyone who reads this do the same next weekend before the installation is closed. It will be open again May 16 & 17th from 1 to 5PM with performances at 2 and 4PM.
The art deco Ernest B. Bain Waterworks facility caught my eye a long time ago as I was entering downtown via Wilmington Street. It is one of those buildings you look at in a state of disrepair and say to yourself – someone should do something there – that building could be something great. After a long time of admiring its exterior I was very excited to hear the building was opening for a limited engagement art installation.
The facility opened in 1940 and replaced the facility directly in front of it that had been in operation since 1887 (this one pumped water to the stone water tower that looks like a lighthouse in downtown). The waterworks could pump 10-20 million gallons of water daily but was outgrown by the city by the 1960’s when the Neuse River facility was built. The plant remained in operation until 1987 and was used as a backup facility until the early 90’s since then it was used for storage. [Source]
The installation is very well done making good use of the surrounding elements without disturbing the natural look of the facility. At times you are left to wonder where the art begins and the historic elements end. Overall I think this is an event in Raleigh you don’t want to miss.