“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Seaholm Power Plant

Seaholm Power Plant Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, April 4, 2010
1. Seaholm Power Plant Marker
Inscription. This complex is an industrial and architectural landmark in Austin. Electric power arrived in the Texas capital in 1895, after the Colorado River was first dammed to generate electricity. The city of Austin has owned its own generation and distribution system ever since, a rarity among large cities.

A growing population and post-World War II demand for new appliances and air conditioning increased the need for electricity. In 1948, the city of Austin commissioned a new power generation plant to be built here, just west of the existing site. Designed by the nationally known Kansas City engineering firm of Burns & McDonnell, the complex developed in two phases in 1950 and 1955. The massive plant included a generator building, which initially housed two hydrogen-cooled turbine generators but was designed to expand to five as demand increased; outdoor boilers; an oil heating plant; a demineralization building; and a water intake structure. The buildings reflect the Art Moderne style, with site-cast structural concrete, scored concrete panel cladding, metal divided-light windows and glass blocks. The turbine generator building includes distinctive illuminated Moderne graphics in its signage. The buildings are solid concrete construction, although other power plants built by Burns & McDonnell up to that time had utilized structural
Seaholm Power Plant image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, April 4, 2010
2. Seaholm Power Plant

On June 2, 1960, the city of Austin posthumously dedicated “Power Plant No. 2” to Walter E. Seaholm (1897-1956), who served the city of Austin for 35 years, including stints as City Manager and Director of Utilities. Seaholm Power Plant remained an active part of the city’s power generation system until 1989.
Erected 2007 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13974.)
Location. 30° 15.957′ N, 97° 45.182′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is on West Cesar Chavez Street (State Highway 343), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 800 West Cesar Chavez Street, Austin TX 78703, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Shoal Creek (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Michael Paggi House (approx. ¼ mile away); Texas Newspapers, C.S.A. (approx. ¼ mile away); J.P. Schneider Store (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Caldwell Treaty Oak Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); West-Bremond Cottage (approx. 0.4 miles away); Emma West Flats (approx. 0.4 miles away); Robinson-Macken House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings
Old Power Plant image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, April 4, 2010
3. Old Power Plant
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2010, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 898 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 5, 2010, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?
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