The Old Decatur Waterworks

Photo by me, February 2011.


ake me to a place that is old, falling down and covered in graffiti and I am at home. Perhaps it is the speck of the fragment of the inner anarchist in me or I just like the graffiti and it reminds me of the Berlin Wall. The B-52's Roam ricocheted through my brain too many times when I was a teenager and here I am.


This is the old Decatur Waterworks complex located in DeKalb County in the Atlanta inner suburbs. This is a very nice upper-middle class area despite what one might think of a park that has graffiti covered ruins. The bored youth of soccer moms and daddy occupied with a backyard grill that is too complicated and big for a family of three have colorful angst.

Modern society may take a dim view of graffiti but did you know that it has been around since Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The word etymology tells us that word originates from the Greek word 'graphein' and means to scribble. Graffiti can have a legitimate purpose is often intended to express political thoughts and to voice anger against repression. This isn't always the case of course and sometimes it is used just as a creative outlet.

Look at all those empty spray paint cans.

 The old Decatur Waterworks complex at one time supplied the drinking water for the city of Decatur then to a nearby Naval Air Station (now PDK) and an army hospital. It has been abandoned since the 1940s and since 2006 has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the area is a public park.

 The old ruins remind me of a place you would see in some post apocalyptic movie or in a music video from the 1980s and 90s. I love the place.

This is one of the old dams with a hole blown through it from dynamite. The county dynamited the two dams in the mid 1960s that had helped to form two lakes that were on the property.

It's a fun place to go explore and photograph if you are ever in the area and you can enjoy the surrounding nature too.

*All photo taken by me in February 2011.