Unlike today, when we assume that so much of it has to be big and ugly so we hide it and neglect it, Miami used to prize its infrastructure. For example, just like the swimming pools of Miami Beach, Miami created showplaces for its drinking water too, like the Bay Shore Pump House and the Miami Municipal Water Softening Plant. Built at 700 West Second Avenue, the water softening plant has been much expanded over the years, with its original coral rock structure surrounded by much more utilitarian-looking modern structures, snaking systems of water pipes, and chain-link fences, almost entirely forgotten but still there. The original building is still in operation. These historical photos from the Library of Congress' Historical American Buildings Survey show the original plant in its stately glory.
· Historical American Buildings Survey [Library of Congress]