Arguendo and Dixi have been residents of Austin, TX for most of 20+ years. We have tons of pictures from our time spent here and continue to take pictures around town. Here we plan on showing a picture each day. We hope you enjoy it and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seaholm Power Plant

The Seaholm Power Plant, a City-owned retired power generation facility, was designed by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. and built of cast concrete in two phases in 1950 and 1955 by Odom Construction. The main generator building, the water intake structure along Lady Bird Lake, the five vertical stacks and the fuel oil building immediately to the north of the main structure comprise a building complex that represents a unique period of American municipal architecture and public works engineering.

The Seaholm Power Plant features art deco style common with other municipal waterworks and powerhouses in the 1930s - 1950s. Seaholm is quite unique in its solid concrete construction, as virtually all power plants at the time were constructed of steel and brick. The exterior walls of Seaholm have a scored pattern of 4' x 4' panels and retain the imprint of wood grain from the plywood form work. The architectural design is also unique for it shows thoughtful consideration to the detailing and proportioning of the elevations.

The generator building contained five gas/oil generation units in a towering turbine room with clerestory windows above flanking aisles, and a 65-foot-high ceiling. Two lower floors contain an additional 75,000 square feet. In all, the building has more than 110,000 square feet of useable floor area. The complex also contains an electric utility substation, transmission and distribution facilities, and a utility microwave communications center.

The plant was dedicated posthumously in 1960 to Walter E. Seaholm, who served as Superintendent of Water and Light and City Manager during his 33-year career with the City of Austin.

From Arguendo & Dixi's Daily Austin Photo


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