At the corner of 4th and Main in the heart of downtown Louisville, you’ll find Metro Sewer District’s (MSD) 4th Street Pump Station.

It’s not much to look at: a plain, gray, concrete-block-of-a-building. But it serves a vital purpose, because whenever central downtown is threatened with flood waters, it kicks on and sends the overflow back into the Ohio and out of harm’s way.

The problem is, the station was cramping the style of all the great restaurants, sporting venues, performing arts centers and hotels that surround it; it needed a makeover.


Public Works



Public Relations

Strategic Approach

Our friends at MSD challenged us to reimagine what the pump station could be. With such a high-profile location, we had the opportunity to do something special. All we had to do was stop looking at the building as boring bricks and mortar – and start looking at it as a canvas.

As we began coming up with ideas for a mural, we asked ourselves: What can we do that will add to the vibrancy and culture of the area, advance the MSD mission and brand – and stand on its own as a delightful piece of urban art?

Creative Solution

With the help of a local muralist, we brought the once-gray box to life with a vivid, two-story, four-sided mural covering the entire pump station.

The design tells the story of nature’s beauty – and importance of preserving it, which is core to MSD’s vision of providing safe, clean waterways. The first level features the river, while the next shows how the land – and animals – benefit from it.

The centerpiece is a mosaic of shimmering tiles representing the majesty of water. And every night at sunset, it treats passersby to a sunlit display nothing short of stunning.