Historic Kohl Pumphouse

The pumphouse, built between 1890 and 1910, and the pony shed, near the rose garden, are the only surviving buildings that pre-date the city’s acquisition of the Central Park property.

Originally constructed with a dirt floor, no indoor plumbing or heating, and an unfinished interior, the pumphouse building later served for years as a workshop for park maintenance.  In 1976, the San Mateo Arboretum Society restored and modernized the building and it now serves as the organization’s headquarters and meeting place.

Water was pumped from the original well, 240 feet deep, at the rate of 150 gallons per minute.  Two large redwood tanks once stood on platforms 35 feet high behind the building.  The pump mechanism is still housed inside and continues to provide water for park landscaping and the adjoining garden center.