The building that now houses the Powerhouse Science Center was built with Mission-style architecture in 1892. It was one of the earliest coal-fired alternating current electric plants in the world. Durango had electric street lights before many large eastern cities. In the mid-1940s, it transitioned from coal to gas. The prominent large smokestack we now associate with the site was placed in summer 1948. By the 1970s, the plant was closed but remained listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. It was also one of Colorado Preservation Inc.’s “Most Endangered Places.” In 2002, Durango City Council voted to help preserve the building as the Powerhouse Science Center. The initial renovation was completed in 2006, followed by a phased transformation. The science center opened to the public Feb. 23, 2011.
Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, email@example.com